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Tap In's Corner

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  #501 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts
Broker: Global Futures/OEC
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4/27/16 Wednesday
Combine Trades: 8
Day’s P/L: $220

Happy that I finished green today but sure made it hard on myself by taking so many trades against the trend. Well, in hindsight they were against the trend. In real time I was expecting another move to the downside, as long as price stayed under the opening range. That move never came. At some point I should have flipped my bias and looked for longs. Would have been much easier.

I do have a tendency to think a reversal is just around the corner, and thus miss some easy trades with trend. For some reason I am more comfortable trying to catch the big reversal rather than playing what is in front of me. Really need to work on that.

Because I was generally against trend today the Total Reasonable Movement of the trades were not very good. Only a little luck and getting out quick when things didn’t feel right saved me.

Trade 1 TRM: +13, -8
Trade 2 TRM: +5, -13
Trade 3 TRM: +1, -11
Trade 4 TRM: +12, -6
Trade 5 TRM: +8, -52
Trade 6 TRM: +10, -2
Trade 7 TRM: +6, -14
Trade 8 TRM: +45, 0

4 out of 8 got to +1R
Only 1 of 8 ran any distance

Not much potential in these trades. I’ve got to learn how to go with trend!

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  #502 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
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4/28/16 Thursday
Combine Trades: 1
Day’s P/L: -$104

Nothing real exciting today, one loss. There was a quick sell off at a point I thought price could turn, but it was just a fake out.

Trade 1 TRM: 0, -12

I had a feeling price would move higher into the close after it cleared the OR and held. I need to learn how to take those trades when I'm feeling it, and hang back, give it some room, and wait for it to happen.

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  #503 (permalink)
 FlyingMonkey 
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Tap In View Post
4/27/16 Wednesday
Combine Trades: 8
Day’s P/L: $220

Happy that I finished green today but sure made it hard on myself by taking so many trades against the trend. Well, in hindsight they were against the trend. In real time I was expecting another move to the downside, as long as price stayed under the opening range. That move never came. At some point I should have flipped my bias and looked for longs. Would have been much easier.

I do have a tendency to think a reversal is just around the corner, and thus miss some easy trades with trend. For some reason I am more comfortable trying to catch the big reversal rather than playing what is in front of me. Really need to work on that.

Because I was generally against trend today the Total Reasonable Movement of the trades were not very good. Only a little luck and getting out quick when things didn’t feel right saved me.

Trade 1 TRM: +13, -8
Trade 2 TRM: +5, -13
Trade 3 TRM: +1, -11
Trade 4 TRM: +12, -6
Trade 5 TRM: +8, -52
Trade 6 TRM: +10, -2
Trade 7 TRM: +6, -14
Trade 8 TRM: +45, 0

4 out of 8 got to +1R
Only 1 of 8 ran any distance

Not much potential in these trades. I’ve got to learn how to go with trend!

I feel your pain on the tendency to look for reversals and difficulty taking advantage of the trend. I noticed a couple things in your screen grab I thought I'd point out. Obviously, don't pay too much attention to my take here, since it's just one chart and I'm just a noob myself!

One thought would be that (nothing earth-shattering here, I'm sure you've been here, done that...), if you have any doubt about the level you are expecting that reversal to come, take a trend line or a channel and don't take the other direction until you get a break (green hexagons). I'm not saying trade the breaks, just that maybe they can be used to say "OK, now look for longs" or whatever. I know that often doesn't work, but from this particular case, in hindsight it may have helped.

The other thing I'll point out. I don't use Delta in my trading, though a few years ago I had it on my charts for a while. It does look like you had some tells here. Blue lines. Again, hindsight.

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  #504 (permalink)
 Pivot Point Guy 
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Tap In View Post
I also notice that I have a tendency to get the courage to take my first trade as the day gets older, primarily after the morning rush, after around 8am pst, after the best moves, when things have settled down. Not sure what this is all about. I do not think it is because of being overwhelmed by the activity since I am easily able to keep up with what is going on.

Maybe is has to do with having more time to contemplate the trade, to really think about it, that I need that extra time to be certain. I do this when I make other big decision in my life, whether it's a big purchase, or a project I want to turn out well. I'll do research, weight the pros and cons, take my time, contemplate until I think I've got things figured out. My wife on the other hand is a shoot first ask questions later decision maker. She'd be a great scalper!

Or, maybe I am subconsciously saving my losses for later so I don't have to call it a day too early. There are few things worse than getting in the hole right out of the gate and either being forced to stop or risking the huge losing day.

Not sure what's causing it, but I will be monitoring this in the journaling.

I can relate Tap In. I go for good runs then get stubborn on a position or two that allows too much drawdown, even though I held to money management rules in most cases. So I agree that taking some time off or paper trading in real time. It does wonders for me as the "it's not real money" does not compute with me due to the time in the arena "in real life!". It also takes the pressure off so I can reevaluate my trading plan, money management, etc. Such as taking a look at volatility with more consideration for stop loss ranges with price action.

I am looking really hard at clearing the charts and going with the Al Brooks approach of reading price charts bar-by-bar. I find that this approach normally offers better entry and exit signals then the automated signals provided in software at least that I compared. Big Mike has a webinar scheduled this Monday, 5/3/16 with Al Brooks presenting - can't wait and surely don't won't to miss this opportunity personally!

I am looking forward to following your approach and learning with you along the way.

All The Best,
Pivot Point Guy.

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  #505 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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4/29/16 Friday
Combine Trades: 1
Day’s P/L: $96

One trade taken Friday. TRM +10, -2.

Spent most of the day observing many good trade opportunities come and go. I am really ready to make this thing happen. I just need some adjustments to my attitude about risk; when it is right to put it on, and when it is gambling.

Not every trade will work. Coming to grips with this and accepting the inevitable losses are part of it. Case in point were two trades, one on Thursday, one Friday. They had similar action, in similar circumstances. On Thursday I jumped in and took a quick 10 tick loss. On Friday, I stayed out because of what happened Thursday, and price traveled 80 ticks with almost no heat. A tale of two trade opportunities. One small loss, one large win.

Part of it, obviously, is loss avoidance, but perhaps a larger part is not wanting to feel stupid about making the same mistake twice. It has been drummed into us by society that we must learn from our mistakes. That to be a successful it is ok to make mistakes, in fact encouraged. Just don't repeat them. Certainly in most of life, and even in trading, there is much truth to this notion. However, it is important in trading to distinguish between a stupid mistake (like trading in chop) and a good trade idea that just didn't work out. No set up will work every time, so one failure does not invalidate an idea, nor does one win make an otherwise risky idea valid.

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  #506 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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FlyingMonkey View Post
I feel your pain on the tendency to look for reversals and difficulty taking advantage of the trend. I noticed a couple things in your screen grab I thought I'd point out. Obviously, don't pay too much attention to my take here, since it's just one chart and I'm just a noob myself!

One thought would be that (nothing earth-shattering here, I'm sure you've been here, done that...), if you have any doubt about the level you are expecting that reversal to come, take a trend line or a channel and don't take the other direction until you get a break (green hexagons). I'm not saying trade the breaks, just that maybe they can be used to say "OK, now look for longs" or whatever. I know that often doesn't work, but from this particular case, in hindsight it may have helped.

The other thing I'll point out. I don't use Delta in my trading, though a few years ago I had it on my charts for a while. It does look like you had some tells here. Blue lines. Again, hindsight.

Excellent points, really appreciate them. Gosh darn I didn't even notice the CD divergences, even though I spend a lot of time looking at CD! I have been looking at other things with CD, so divergences have been off the mind. So many things to pay attention to!

Regarding trend lines, your point is well taken. Trend lines have been an integral aspect of my style for a long time, and I do pay attention to breaks. One thing about trend lines in a strong trend is that a break does not always signal a direction change, just a larger pull back in the same trend, and then the trend line gets re-drawn. I often struggle with when is the break a signal of trend change and when is it just a slightly larger pull back. I will still stay open minded to trading with the original trend on the first or second break of a TL. Trades 2, 3 and maybe even 4 were still valid shorts in my opinion (CD div notwithstanding), because they retraced to previous levels. But damn, by trade 5, 6, 7 I should have been looking long!

Thanks again for the ideas. Please feel free to share your observations any time.

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  #507 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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Tap In View Post
Spent most of the day observing many good trade opportunities come and go. I am really ready to make this thing happen. I just need some adjustments to my attitude about risk; when it is right to put it on, and when it is gambling.

Not every trade will work. Coming to grips with this and accepting the inevitable losses are part of it.
...
Part of it, obviously, is loss avoidance, but perhaps a larger part is not wanting to feel stupid about making the same mistake twice.
...
However, it is important in trading to distinguish between a stupid mistake (like trading in chop) and a good trade idea that just didn't work out. No set up will work every time, so one failure does not invalidate an idea, nor does one win make an otherwise risky idea valid.

I think you've got something there.

It is obvious that you can look at a chart, and I mean in real time, not hindsight, and you can see where the opportunities lie. As evidence for this statement, I offer your entire journal to date.

So you do see them. I think that is one essential step.

Step 2 is what you are getting at here. When to take them, when not.

When you see things as they are, you pull the trigger at the correct time, by your method and your lights, and if you lose from doing it, you don't care. The next time, if you have the same situation, you do the same thing again. And you aren't concerned about the outcome, before you actually get it.

Anticipating how it will work out, on any basis other than, "This is a valid trade according to my understanding, so I'm taking it," is unlikely to get you anywhere. If your understanding is wrong, you can do what you probably have done all your life in your professional or business career, and find your error and fix it. Then, you just go back to doing what you know is the right thing, and at the right time. After some adjustments, it will start to pay off. I believe that the only problem you have is hesitation, and doubt.

Seriously.

(No, don't go crazy and just click that mouse on any impulse that enters your head. That's the opposite error, and not any better -- worse, in fact. But follow your considered judgment, correct your inevitable mistakes, get back up on that horse and do it again. Why should trading be any different from any of the other things you have learned how to do well???)

Good luck. It is not all that easy, but I do think you are on the right path.

Bob.

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  #508 (permalink)
 Tap In 
Bend, OR
 
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Pivot Point Guy View Post
So I agree that taking some time off or paper trading in real time. It does wonders for me as the "it's not real money" does not compute with me due to the time in the arena "in real life!". It also takes the pressure off so I can reevaluate my trading plan, money management, etc. Such as taking a look at volatility with more consideration for stop loss ranges with price action.

I resisted for a long time, but now that I have been with Topstep for a while I have found it to be a happy medium between trading live and trading sim. Results mean something in both directions, without the prospect of catastrophic losses to one's trading capital.

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  #509 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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bobwest View Post
I think you've got something there.

It is obvious that you can look at a chart, and I mean in real time, not hindsight, and you can see where the opportunities lie. As evidence for this statement, I offer your entire journal to date.

So you do see them. I think that is one essential step.

Step 2 is what you are getting at here. When to take them, when not.

When you see things as they are, you pull the trigger at the correct time, by your method and your lights, and if you lose from doing it, you don't care. The next time, if you have the same situation, you do the same thing again. And you aren't concerned about the outcome, before you actually get it.

Anticipating how it will work out, on any basis other than, "This is a valid trade according to my understanding, so I'm taking it," is unlikely to get you anywhere. If your understanding is wrong, you can do what you probably have done all your life in your professional or business career, and find your error and fix it. Then, you just go back to doing what you know is the right thing, and at the right time. After some adjustments, it will start to pay off. I believe that the only problem you have is hesitation, and doubt.

Seriously.

(No, don't go crazy and just click that mouse on any impulse that enters your head. That's the opposite error, and not any better -- worse, in fact. But follow your considered judgment, correct your inevitable mistakes, get back up on that horse and do it again. Why should trading be any different from any of the other things you have learned how to do well???)

Good luck. It is not all that easy, but I do think you are on the right path.

Bob.

Bless you Bobwest. FIO wouldn't be half what it is without your presence!

I am reading the book, "The Nature Of Risk", by Justin Mamis. The main takeaway I get from the book is the idea that, while ultimately making money is the goal of trading, the trader shouldn't be focused on winning and losing, but rather just playing the game. Initially the trader will not play the game well. Over time, like anything else, skills will improve, adjustments will be made, and eventually the game will be played properly enough to make money.

The worst mistake the trader can make is to not play. In other words, not take the trades. More learning comes from taking the swing and missing than not taking the swing at all. The key of course is to last long enough to make the required adjustments. This is where TST is such a nice offering to the modern day retail trader.

I thank you for your thoughts and wish nothing but the best for your trading!

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  #510 (permalink)
 bobwest 
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Why, thanks. (Blush.)

I completely agree about TST. Unlike pure sim, it is not so low-risk, low-consequence that it doesn't mean anything to you and so doesn't trigger any emotional involvement or seriousness, but it also isn't so high-consequence that you don't want to take the swing at all. It's a nice balance.

I haven't read this particular book by Mamis, but have read others of his over the years. I found them very worthwhile.

Just keep going in the direction you're on. I notice you've got that TST Trade Report filled up with trading most days, so you're doing that swing. As you said, that's the only time anyone learns anything they can really use.

Good luck.

Bob.

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  #511 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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I am going to try the morning prep thing to see if it has value. Explanations on the charts.

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 Tap In 
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The blue scenario played out. Took a quick win to start the week off positively

Trade 1: +10

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 Tap In 
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OK, so I missed out on the entire 80 tick sell off. Time to regroup

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 Tap In 
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Generally looking short but open to longs if evidence shows the market wants to test several levels shown

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 Tap In 
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Two straight losses, almost no movement in my favor.

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  #516 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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5/2/16 Monday
Combine Trades: 3
Day’s P/L: -$61

Funny how the next trade is always the one that works but I’m always passing on it. Three trades today, one quick win that got me feeling strong, then two successive losses to put me back in my place. There were other trades, but my fear of the blowout day (I’ve had too many to recount) had me retreating into my shell.

Experimented with documenting the day’s blueprint before the open, which, though it took time to post, helped a bit with conviction, at least on the first trade. In general, I saw the market’s intent pretty well, but faltered on the timing of a couple trades, and then hesitated on some others that panned out nicely.

About those losses, the first showed some pretty good selling so I was surprised by the subsequent strength. At least I got out at only -1/2R.

The second loss should not have been taken as it was trading short right back into support. I was trying a set up similar to the way @Kube777 trades, but it wasn’t right as I look back on it now.

Oh well, not much harm done. Learn and move forward.

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  #517 (permalink)
 Tap In 
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Monthly Recap April 2016
Live Trades: 0
Month’s P/L: 0

Starting balance for the Month: $2840.17
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

No activity on the live account. All trading switched to TST combines. Blew out the first combine in early April and currently working on the second.

Continuing to work on market context combined with order flow “events” to time entry. Generally feeling pretty good about the direction I am taking and eagerly anticipating a “breakout” in my trading performance soon.

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 Tap In 
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Today's blueprint attached. Be bold, don't look for trades that are not there. Confidently take those that are.

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Opening range established. A little tricky in here. Lot's of "stuff" to go through on both sides.



7:22 update- slow methodical move down. Not my kind of day at this point. Not comfortable with any set up so far.



8:06 update- in real time these days are hard to trade for me. Difficult to determine good entry points without wide stops. In hindsight it is frustrating to see such movement without taking advantage of it. This is where a trader has to have a general philosophy about the day: "I'm going short and staying short until fill-in-the-blank happens".

Day is not over. Could have a trade-able bounce soon.


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Took one trade so far. Of course it was counter trend! But there were good reasons, or so I thought. BE


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Day's like today are difficult for me to trade, and frustrating to look back on in hindsight. If I miss the initial break out short, getting on board the trend later is tricky due to the stair step nature of the action. It is hard to pinpoint where the reversal is exhausted, and the subsequent move will continue, within a small risk tolerance.

As I mentioned in my April recap, I have been kicking around an idea I have been struggling to get in writing. It has to do with viewing the market more from the perspective of the forest than the trees: where is the market trying to go? How is it trying to get there? Viewed this way, if one was convinced that the market was trying to get to some area lower, to reconcile previous business done there, one could resolve to enter at some general area on one of the pull backs in route, say, around the 50% retracement, and then lay back far enough to let that idea prove out.

Of course, this requires a certain level of conviction that I am seeing the forest correctly, because the stops required will typically be larger than I usually use. I imagine making these types of choices will be a little easier when I have more risk capital to play with.

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Looking for a quick move down off the top. Price stalled at the previous break out area so I moved to BE. Often times these types of moves, especially at the end of the day, will never get back to BE, and if they do, they'll continue up. Not this time unfortunately. Would have been an easy 40 ticks.

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Of course, this requires a certain level of conviction that I am seeing the forest correctly, because the stops required will typically be larger than I usually use. I imagine making these types of choices will be a little easier when I have more risk capital to play with.

I (now) believe, strongly, that tight stops can and will kill you. They killed me until I stopped using them.

This does open one up to an entirely new experience of, frankly, fear and trembling, so go into this arena with deliberation.

I think that tight stops are the province of the accomplished scalper, who can put his trades on with enough precision that he knows when to bail out, and who can make a good living trading like that.

But if you aspire to just get the direction right, and are willing to hold on a little more than a scalper's stop to see if you're right or not, it can get you past the tight stop problem.

Wanting to bail out quickly is often just an expression of fear. Tightening up the stop will let a person avoid the fear, but also often avoid the profit if they were right enough, in a general way.

I'm not saying it's easy, nor that if you just take a bigger loss via your stop that you will somehow get a bigger profit.... But what you said about forests and trees may apply. What if you just picked a bigger stop, and resolved to hold until you either hit it, or had another good reason to bail out (a tricky but, I think, necessary provision to make), or got to a good enough profit?

Don't let big stops kill you either, but think about how you might implement something like this. Maybe you can try it and see what happens. Maybe it will work.

Bob.

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Of course, this requires a certain level of conviction that I am seeing the forest correctly, because the stops required will typically be larger than I usually use.


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Wanting to bail out quickly is often just an expression of fear. Tightening up the stop will let a person avoid the fear, but also often avoid the profit if they were right enough, in a general way.

Don't let big stops kill you either, but think about how you might implement something like this. Maybe you can try it and see what happens. Maybe it will work.

Bob.

I have reached my own conclusion on stops and that is that the effect of size is an illusion, since I see most people that scale in or use wider stops abandon any R:R metric without either realising it or being bothered by it. I'm not sure which, but it doesn't seem to matter, it's just a different route to getting more points correct.

I also happen to think that feeling a different entry method needs wider stops is also an illusion - caused by the way we perceive up and down movement in the markets, a retrace never looks to have gone as far as it has, can or should. I (weirdly, ahem) sometimes ponder having a less biased (maybe) gaming interface instead, whereby price moves from left to right rather than vertically, and time moves from front to back like in the original Star Wars intro's...

Cheers

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I have reached my own conclusion on stops and that is that the effect of size is an illusion, since I see most people that scale in or use wider stops abandon any R:R metric without either realising it or being bothered by it. I'm not sure which, but it doesn't seem to matter, it's just a different route to getting more points correct.

I also happen to think that feeling a different entry method needs wider stops is also an illusion - caused by the way we perceive up and down movement in the markets, a retrace never looks to have gone as far as it has, can or should. I (weirdly, ahem) sometimes ponder having a less biased (maybe) gaming interface instead, whereby price moves from left to right rather than vertically, and time moves from front to back like in the original Star Wars intro's...

Cheers

Cryptic (ahem), but I think correct, at least on the R:R question.

I think of a stop as an emergency measure, and don't much care where I put them, honestly. I just don't want to trip over them by having them too close. I'll bail when I think my idea of the trade has been proven wrong. I don't try to figure out an R:R ratio that the market has to give me. It doesn't have to give me anything, and I have no good way to know what can be gotten from any move until it's going (or not).

However, I do think the point that is pertinent to @Tap In's situation now, is just to give a trade a little more room to prove or disprove itself. Where the stop is put is not something that requires a lot of calculation: just try some point where you think it will do the job of basic protection. Note how many really good traders ( @Big Mike, @Inletcap, for instance) don't use stops, unless they have to be out of the room.

But that's another entire topic.... It may be best to change things only one thing at a time, sometimes.

Bob.

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There is thickness on the offer this morning. I think we will be testing up to various areas of the recent down move. The question is how will we get there? The 50% retracement is around 45.00. Of course Inventory could change things in a hurry. Look for reactions around each tested level, and use order flow to confirm.

We have had an extended overnight move off the bottom with small pull backs. This is where it gets tricky. Will the small pull backs continue or do we make a larger pull back before continuing up?

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Opening Range established 15 ticks.


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I (now) believe, strongly, that tight stops can and will kill you. They killed me until I stopped using them.

This does open one up to an entirely new experience of, frankly, fear and trembling, so go into this arena with deliberation.

I think that tight stops are the province of the accomplished scalper, who can put his trades on with enough precision that he knows when to bail out, and who can make a good living trading like that.

But if you aspire to just get the direction right, and are willing to hold on a little more than a scalper's stop to see if you're right or not, it can get you past the tight stop problem.

Wanting to bail out quickly is often just an expression of fear. Tightening up the stop will let a person avoid the fear, but also often avoid the profit if they were right enough, in a general way.

I'm not saying it's easy, nor that if you just take a bigger loss via your stop that you will somehow get a bigger profit.... But what you said about forests and trees may apply. What if you just picked a bigger stop, and resolved to hold until you either hit it, or had another good reason to bail out (a tricky but, I think, necessary provision to make), or got to a good enough profit?

Don't let big stops kill you either, but think about how you might implement something like this. Maybe you can try it and see what happens. Maybe it will work.

Bob.


There is the too-tight stop, and then there is the stop that is moved too tight too soon. Both can be a blessing and a curse. To the novice, it is a blessing because he is usually wrong. It saves him money. To the expert it is a curse. He is usually right. I costs him money.

I keep records of every trade I make and how far price moves for me and against me. Price generally moves against me more than it moves for me. There are many reasons for that and I am trying to remedy them. Looking at the forest more is part of the process. Right now I would have to say being conservative is saving me money. Hopefully soon I will realize it is costing me.

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Kind of a repeat of yesterday. One trade that went nowhere, one trade that went a long ways. So theoretically, moving to BE quickly has hurt me the last two days. Otherwise I would have taken two losses at -10t each, and two wins for potentially 40t each. Hopefully, as I see this more often I will become more inclined to hold.

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finally held one and got +1R (10t)

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finally held one and got +1R (10t)



Cool.

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Woke to a market that is very extended in its run. Currently at 45.90 area. There was a lot of trade in the 46.00 area on Monday so it feels like it needs some refueling to get through that area (retracement). There are several un-reconciled areas below that need to be tested at some point, either today or in the future. These areas extend all the way down to the 43.60 area.

Obviously the trend is up, but I do not feel good about jumping in long until we get some sort of deeper pull back or more extended basing action.

I will play the short side when it looks like the market wants to go test those areas below that were mentioned. Truthfully I do not care for these types of mornings. Need more clarity.

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There could be two OR possibilities, one in dark yellow and one in yellow. There was strong support at 45.69 but not much of a pull back.

Already missed a trade or two this morning due to fear and doubt.

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Price is now at a critical juncture. Annotated on the charts are the scenarios I am looking for. As always, I will be looking for order flow to confirm.

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5/5/16 Thursday
Combine Trades: 3
Day’s P/L: $138

Read the market pretty well today. I am getting a better feel for where it wants to go based on previous break out areas. I think the pre market blueprint is useful, as well as doing updates during the day. It keeps things freshly focused. I’m also noticing some behaviors on footprint that seem to repeat, but I still do not have full faith in them.

Didn’t trade today until 8:00. I get in this mode where I watch a bunch of opportunities go by, get frustrated, then finally decide I’ve had enough and pull the trigger. Thankfully, I usually have the patience to wait for valid set ups, so it’s not like they are stupid trades. Just a little too little too late.

Two of the trades were in the right direction, one in the wrong direction. Yesterday two of three trades were in the wrong direction, with one in the right direction. I wish I could be more consistent in this area.

Trade movement:
Trade 1 TRM: +7t, -17t
Trade 2 TRM: +28t, -6t
Trade 3 TRM: +15t, -1t

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NFP day, could be some movement.

We are still in a down trend. However, the market has tested some key breakout levels down here in the mid 43's so it would not surprise me to see a bounce soon to go get some unresolved areas above.

There are also some unresolved areas way below around 42.00 but I think the market needs to refuel to go get them.

For now I will wait for clear directional movement, then look for orderflow for entry.

Already took one trade for BE. The market action showed strong flow to the downside, then suddenly stopped and reversed. Good thing I tightened quickly or it would have been a loss.

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OR 14 ticks

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No large orders on the books so far. Market makers are moving this thing around. Hard to get a feel for where it wants to go.

Update 7:05: large orders appearing on the books around 44.70. Probably many more above this, so I expect the market to continue to work its way up as it reconciles some of the untested areas.



Update 8:48: Looks like they are trying to take back most of yesterday. Still some untested areas above. Thee are still large offers present


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Good trade, but got taken out on an instantaneous big sell market order with a liquidity vacuum on the bid. Too bad, it was a nice idea

+9t

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5/6/16 Friday
Combine Trades: 3
Day’s P/L: $78

Making small gains, but I sure would like to have a big up day to offset those big down days. I realize this won’t happened until I am willing to trade more often.

Three trades Friday, two in the right direction and one in the wrong direction.

TRM results:
Trade 1 TRM: +7, -21
Trade 2 TRM: +22, -0
Trade 3 TRM: +22, -8

I placed dots where I thought good trades would happen. All in all, if each one were taken and held for either +10t or -10t the results would be +80t for the day. However, there would have been some challenges to my psyche. Like, two quick losses to begin the day and the first 6 trades resulting in 0t, etc. Hopefully if results are typical like this each day I will begin to trust my judgement and the trading will open up.



The periodic blueprint updates are working nicely. In general, I am anticipating the markets moves pretty well. Here is what I posted to start the day:

"We are still in a down trend. However, the market has tested some key breakout levels down here in the mid 43's so it would not surprise me to see a bounce soon to go get some unresolved areas above."

The blueprint to start the day:



The results at the end of the day:



Not bad. I just need to keep doing what I am doing and try to improve.

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Well, not much doubt we're going down. The only question is how to play it: information risk or price risk?

Price has successfully completed the test of the move down on Thursday. Now it is time to test the move up on Friday and perhaps further down from earlier in the week. Getting on board the trend within a reasonable amount of risk will be the challenge.

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For my first trade I chose price risk and entered on confirmation of the resumption. Probably should have held this one but chose to take a quick winner to start the week.

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OR established. There is definite liquidity on the bid today. Who knows how low they want to take it. Price is at some support now but it probably wont hold for long. Missed some opps while doing the morning blueprint. That is one of the drawbacks of doing this on the forum. And yes, I should have held that first trade!

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Trade 2: -1t. Price jumped up quickly after I entered so I thought I was trapped and exited at minimal damage. The trade worked in the end

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5/9/16 Monday
Combine Trades: 7
Day’s P/L: $-156

Traded more today. A little looser with the entries. I will try to keep this mindset through the week. It didn’t work out today though. Had one great trade with many ok trades. One really bad trade at the end of the day. Shouldn’t have taken it. I was desperate to get into the black. Stupid.

After testing all areas above overnight, it was highly probably this would be a down trend day to test areas below. Hindsight shows that if I hold the first trade all day I make 100+ ticks. But that’s hindsight. The good news is that 6 of the 7 trades were with trend. That’s a plus, but I still didn't come out ahead. I think I was leaning towards price risk too much today.

Total Reasonable Movement results:
Trade 1: +42, -0
Trade 2: +16, -6
Trade 3: +0, -14
Trade 4: +4, -62
Trade 5: +14, -0
Trade 6: +7, -16
Trade 7: +2, -24

3 right trades, 4 wrong trades. Though I was mostly trading with the trend, my timing was off several times. Entered too late. Need to get more comfortable with information risk and enter higher in the pull back.

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There are a lot of un-tested breakdown levels from yesterday's sell-off all the way up to the 45.50 area. We are coming off a major swing low, so the market may want to go back up and get some of those levels.

If we hold below the 43.00 area, we could see testing all the way down to the 42.10 area.

Currently we are between support and resistance so trading needs to proceed with caution until we get out of here. One possibility is to fade the S/R but that is a little more sophisticated for me. I will look for order flow events to confirm either an obvious fade opp or a breakout should one occur.

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OR established.

Two trades so far, -8

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5/10/16 Tuesday
Combine Trades: 17
Day’s P/L: -$252

Apparently I decided to trade today. After the first two trades I was down 8 ticks, then got up 41 ticks. I figured I would press for a big day and ended up giving it all back and then some. The market just wasn’t there for a big day.

What struck me about the day was how calm I was, even while giving it all back. Somewhere deep down I felt that everything in the long run is going to be ok. I’m catching more winners, I’m developing some nice set ups. It just wasn’t the day to press. If I can keep the same attitude during the really good days I should be ok. We’ll see.

As far as the trading was concerned there was good, ok, and bad. The market showed a lot of impulse moves that stalled out quickly, so in hindsight it looks like I took a lot of trades at the edges. Price risk in markets like this doesn’t work well.

The results: only 8 of 17 trades got to 1R. Somehow I need to get this up to between 60-70% or it’s always going to be a struggle. Combined with this, I let too many trade play out. I should have gotten out at or near BE a lot more. I tend to do better when I manage my trades “scared”, especially on a day like today.

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To the upside:

Price has done a nice job of reconciling most of Monday's sell off. It could turn down at any time, but there are a couple more areas to the upside that could be tested. These extend all the way up to the 45.60 area.

To the downside:

There was an overnight surge from 44.34 to 44.57 that should be retraced at some point. This may be required to refuel the market before much more movement to the upside can take place.

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OR established with a +23 tick trade to start the day

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OR established with a +23 tick trade to start the day

Good trade.

Failure is not an option
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Pre oil report update...

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5/11/16 Wednesday
Combine Trades: 9
Day’s P/L: -$93

Second day in a row that I gave back gains. What are you gonna do? Can’t have a big day without continuing to trade. Not sure if everyone is experiencing this, but except for select moments, I have found the trading the past few days difficult. The first part of the morning was decent, and during the 7 minutes after the oil report was decent. After that it was a slow grind up. Pinpoint timing and wide stops required.

One trade was a DOM mistake. Of the 8 others:

Trade 1 TRM +48, 0, +4R
Trade 2 TRM: +7, -10
Trade 3 TRM: +14, -9
Trade 4 TRM: +4, -50, desperation trade
Trade 5 TRM: +3, -46, desperation trade
Trade 6 TRM: +6, -32
Trade 7 TRM: +16, -5
Trade 8 TRM: +12, -1

Still at only 50% to +1R, and 13% to +2R or more. However, I still feel pretty good about things considering what I think are difficult trading conditions. Others may be killing it, but not my method. Very little follow through happening for my risk parameters. I am still having trouble determining when the conditions start to get tough. It is not until after several attempts (often losses) that it becomes apparent.

All in all, still feeling decent about how things are going. The up call in the blueprint was good, though the market went farther than I expected. I am limiting the damage in hard times. If I can just maintain this more open trading attitude and keep doing what I am doing, I know a time will come when everything works.

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We are at the year's high.

To the long side: if we hold above it we'll continue to the long side.

To the short side: more likely we will test some of the areas below from yesterday's rally, especially the inventory breakout area.

Not the greatest looking chart at the moment. Look for clear signs either way before trading

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Two opening range possibilities: 11 ticks or 29 ticks

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5/12/16 Thursday
Combine Trades: 2
Day’s P/L: $102

Today was the day to trade...


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If I can just maintain this more open trading attitude and keep doing what I am doing, I know a time will come when everything works.

...but I couldn’t get in the rhythm. Had trouble finding spots early and as the day wore on I became more reluctant to enter. Only good news is I made a little.

Pre-drawn levels based on findings in footprint worked nicely today on retracements. Previous large nodes of support became resistance and vice versa.

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5/12/16 Thursday
Combine Trades: 2
Day’s P/L: $102

Today was the day to trade...



...but I couldn’t get in the rhythm. Had trouble finding spots early and as the day wore on I became more reluctant to enter. Only good news is I made a little.

Pre-drawn levels based on findings in footprint worked nicely today on retracements. Previous large nodes of support became resistance and vice versa.

You may not have maximized the day, but overall you are definitely improving.

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Currently in a zone of about 60 ticks. Took one trade trying to fade an established S/R level. Price had bounced off it many times before, but this time blew right through it.

To the upside: the year's high looms above. Price could not break through yesterday. There are some areas along the way that need testing. Look for clear signs that price is going after them and perhaps looking to break above the year's high.

To the downside: The inventory break out area from Monday needs testing. A break and hold Below 45.60 would be a sign price was going after this area.

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You may not have maximized the day, but overall you are definitely improving.

I appreciate your encouragement. It means a lot.

Only about 50% of my trades move any reasonable distance in my favor, which makes it hard to take, and hold trades. Sometimes it feels one step forward and two steps back. $100 winning days, $200 losing days. Days like yesterday were opportunities to do better. Oh well.

I am trying hard to increase my percentage of good trades but haven't yet found the formula.

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OR established. Price still in the range. I am not comfortable fading the edges so I'll just wait.

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Scenarios for today

To the long side: We are at levels not seen since December, but at a low volume node area on the daily chart. That was a long time ago. I am not sure how this will effect today's trading. So far we are up until further notice.

To the down side: The overnight breakout may get tested so be ready play it to the 46.40 area if price decides to go after it.

I will be looking for high volume nodes on Footprint to fade (information risk), and breakouts through those nodes for continuations (price risk).

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Scenarios for today...

Enjoying your pre-market write-ups. They're helpful and thoughtful.

Bob.

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5/16/16 Monday
Combine Trades: 5
Day’s P/L: -$18

After doing some work over the weekend I decided to trade on information risk today entering on pull backs at previous areas of large trading on footprint. Of the 5 trades, 3 went my way. All three went beyond +2R, though I would have had to hold two of them through larger pull backs. Results and Total Reasonable Movement of each trade on the chart attached.

I generally called the morning correctly in my blueprint, with price bouncing off the OR four times. I got that right, but unfortunately could not take advantage.

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It is difficult to say as of this writing which direction is more likely.

To the upside: there has been a big overnight move down after an up move. This down move could be retraced partially or fully. However, I would not expect price to go out the top today.

To the downside: There are many untested areas below all the way down to the 42 area. But first it needs to get through a bunch of heavy trading in the 55 tick range of yesterday from 47.30 to 47.85. If it does, I suspect it to be a trend day down.

For now I will be looking for clarity after the open for clear direction or areas of heavy trading on footprint to fade.



End of day chart comparison: As I suspected price didn't go out the top until after the close, but it did retrace and test all of the down move from overnight.


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5/16/16 Monday
Combine Trades: 3
Day’s P/L: $148

Another lackluster day on oil. Three trades, all three made it to at least 1R. I am continuing to identify high volume price levels on Footprint and observe how price reacts to those levels throughout the day.

Two ways to play these levels are:
1) Wait for price to return and enter on a limit order with the stop a distance that allows for some wiggle room. Trades 1 was executed this way.
2) Enter when price develops a level then moves away from it. Trades 2 and 3 were executed this way

Total Reasonable Movement of the trades:
Trade 1 TRM: +17, -1
Trade2 TRM: +37, -2
Trade 3 TRM: +10, -4

These are results I can work with. Bummer about trade 2. It had such a hard time moving away from entry that I thought it was a trap forming.

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Big sell off near the end of the session yesterday and over night. There are many areas below that have gone untested over the past week so a continued down move would not be unexpected.



On the more immediate time frame, some of the overnight sell-off areas could be tested. The action today may be difficult to read because price could stop at any one of these areas. Though price is in a down trend now, I do not have a bias because it could test either way. I will rely on volume clusters and the opening range to frame the market to make trading decisions in either direction.


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On the macro view, oil has been leaving a series of breakouts behind as it continues its rally up from the bottom. These will be tested eventually.




In the meantime we are between two areas: 49.00 to the upside and about 47.75 to the downside. The trend is currently down, probably in an attempt to take back yesterdays rally. If it holds above 49.00 we'll probably go out the top.




As is usual with oil, my bias needs to be somewhat flexible because it can change on a dime. For now I am biased short until evidence suggests they are trying for the 49.00 area and beyond.

Edit 9:18- Interesting how price has reacted to my areas. In spite of this I continue to have difficulty monetizing my reads


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Price continues is sell off from Friday. 47.26 is a major low.

To the down side: Below that major low the next area to test is the 46.00 area. Price may need a bounce up to the 47.80 or even 48.00 area before going down much further.

To the upside: we could see a nice bounce off the major low to test the areas just described. Above 49.56 and the rally continues.





End of day. Price ended up testing the upper area before reversing:


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5/23/16 Monday
Combine Trades: 5
Day’s P/L: -$58

Still hanging on, down $750. Taking trades, going nowhere. 29th trading day for this combine, 133 trades. Not sure if this is a good thing or not.

Traded horribly again today. Five trades, only one made it to 1R. No potential whatsoever. If not for a quick finger on the rip cord I'd have gotten killed the past couple days. Struggling to catch trends early enough to get the good moves. Late to the party a lot.

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Bias is long for now based on yesterday's higher lows and the overnight action working up. Most areas up to the top at 49.56 have been previously tested so there may not be a lot stopping it to the upside. Price is currently in an area that could possibly reverse, but much beyond 48.75 and I think we will test the top.

To the downside, below 47.64 and we may try to test the many areas lower that have not been seen since their break outs.



Update, mid day: Initial long bias scenario was correct. Currently near a potential resumption to the upside. At breakout area, R1, Opening range. Below 48.31 and we'll probably head for the 48.03 area.



Update, end of day: surprisingly accurate


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5/24/16 Tuesday
Combine Trades: 2
Day’s P/L: -$7

I could not identify too many good opportunities in real time today. The good news is I entered the best move, just couldn't hold for the the bigger gain. Took one breakout and one pull back trade. One win, one loss.

Once again the opening range was a key support and resistance area.

I am doing well with the pre market blueprint. Need to trust it a bit more and try to get on board my bias.

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We are near the year's high again, with a lot of past heavy trading above and below. The macro trend is still up, but considering that price has retraced almost all of the previous resistance areas, we could have a change of direction back to the downside. If it holds above 49.56 it's blue sky for a while.

Right now trading in either direction will require patience. Price will encounter difficulties until there is clear momentum. Look for breakout trades after clear impulse moves, or pull back trades to strong S/R levels, with good potential reward.

I am going to attempt to start categorizing trades in an effort to better determine probabilities of success.



Update: end of day. Price had significant reactions off two areas identified


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5/25/16 Wednesday
Combine Trades: 4
Day’s P/L: $395

I was finally able to make and keep some decent gains. Three of the four trades made it to 1R. Two of them made 2R.

Switched to sim after the fourth trade and made more gains experimenting with scaling in to positions. While it was a fun exercise, scaling in will be for the future with a larger account. By the time a full position is on, the risk per trade is just too much.

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Continued up move overnight above the year's high.

To the upside: No reason it wont continue up. The difficulty will be choosing a place to get on board. I'll need to wait for either a strong breakout or a return to a previous support area, then continuation.

To the downside. wait for obvious topping action followed by a strong impulse move with energy before considering shorts




Update, mid morning: had some reactions off the blueprint levels. Now it appears they want to take it to the 49.07 area. My bias long for the morning kept me from getting anything on the down move. May be a no trade day.


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No trades yesterday.

It is kind of messy on both sides of the equation today. I can see no clear destinations up or down. The trend is down for now but we're at a place it could turn. It'll be important to wait for some obvious action before taking risk.



Update, pre Yellen: price ended up bouncing from the first support level to the first resistance level. Yellen's comments may not do anything but just in case, here are the possibilities:


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 KahunaDog 
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Purpose of this journal: To improve my trading by collating my trades, charts, trade ideas, and trade thoughts into a one-stop-shop for easy review and recording of progress.

Instruments: Various and evolving. Currently CL, GC, NG, ES, NQ

The method:
Look for areas of support and resistance and observe how price reacts around these areas. Watch price action and use order flow tools to gauge market sentiment and take trades as price reverses off of, or continues through these areas.

Three basic elements:
1) Use support/resistance and other tools to create a framework around price. The tools include: Trend lines, Market profile, Pivots, Previous Highs and Lows, Opening Ranges, VWAP, and EMAs.
2) Use order flow tools to provide clues on price’s potential direction and current speed of market. Order Flow Tools include: Cumulative Delta, Time and Sales, DOM, Volume
3) Gut feel based on screen time experience.

As price approaches or lingers around previously identified key areas, watch order flow and ask questions:

Is price reversing or continuing?

What are the obstacles in the way?

For fading impulse moves... ^(exhaustion is a better term)

Dom a wall of orders that does not break down after multiple encroachments and hits

Absorbtion

Rejection

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 KahunaDog 
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The secondary screen is on my laptop. It runs on the Think or Swim platform. This is where I look at market profile for each instrument. I like TOS for the grids that can be generated.

I look at the daily profiles in the regular trading hours, focusing mainly on the Point of Contention and the value area low and high. I will take all virgin POC’s and VA’s in the vicinity of current price and mark them on my trading charts for potential pause or turning points.



I also use extended market profile in various time frames for each instrument and mark my trading chart with areas of confluence or significant high value or low value nodes. This has been very valuable as a heads up for potential pausing and turning points.


How has this worked?

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For fading impulse moves... ^(exhaustion is a better term)

Dom a wall of orders that does not break down after multiple encroachments and hits

Absorbtion

Rejection

I have dabbled in this from time to time at clear S/R areas, but it is counter trend, which I tend to stay away from unless I am really confident the trend is over. Going counter trend has rarely worked out well for me.

The key is the "multiple encroachments and hits" which sort negates it as being an impulse move anymore. Now it becomes more of a double top/bottom or lower high/higher low situation. Without that conformation I would tend not to fade it. If I was in a trade in the direction of the impulse, this action might cause me to bail on the trade though. I suppose I could then consider the other direction.

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How has this worked?

Thank you for the thought provoking questions. It is always good to have to think about what you are really trying to do from time to time.

I do not trade directly off of the LVN's or HVN's. Rather, I use them as reference points for anticipated pausing or reversal areas to be aware of. I guess they are all part of the big "soup" of clues I use to figure out where price might be going next.

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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.


Do you have any screen shots of the exact or near moment you are entering? Deltas dom footprint other order flow

re - trend vs counter trend
How often does the market trend? When cL does what are the size of the trends? In what time frame?

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 KahunaDog 
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If you want me to cease and desist I will. My intent is not harassment.

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Do you have any screen shots of the exact or near moment you are entering? Deltas dom footprint other order flow

re - trend vs counter trend
How often does the market trend? When cL does what are the size of the trends? In what time frame?

With the risk tolerance and targets I am shooting for (10 ticks minimum) CL could change trends several times a day, varying from 50 to 200 ticks depending on the players involved. That is why I like it. Here is an example of a successful breakout trade. The DOM for this trade is not available but you would have seen large orders on the offer signaling a desire to move the market higher:



Footprint at breakout:






KahunaDog View Post
If you want me to cease and desist I will. My intent is not harassment.

You are being respectful. It is not harassment. Do you use some of the same tools?: Footprint, DOM, Volume Profile. Do you tend to trade in the direction of the trend? Fade S/R? What have you found that is effective?

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Ygpm

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On the macro, resistance starts at the 49.80 level to the upside and support starts at 49.05 to the downside.



Price currently resides a ways from each of those levels with little apparent trending action. Through the open I will be looking for clues as to which of the levels the market will try to attack first. I'd like to see some definitive movement off of 49.44 or 49.60, before taking a position. Otherwise it is just guessing.



Update, end of day: Price did indeed hit the upper resistance area, overshot it a bit, then reversed to the lower support area. No trades today unfortunately. Recognized some good opportunities but lacked faith.


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There is a lot more volatility in the market the past couple days, with areas to the upside and downside that need to be tested. Stick with the trend



Update, pre inventory: Price went deeper into yesterday's rally.



There are major areas to be tested to the upside and downside. The only question is which will it test first. It is currently basing up in anticipation of the news. A break either way could start a substantial move.



Added more possible level to the downside...


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Monthly Recap May 2016
Live Trades: 0, live account still at $2840.17

Combine trades: 78
Month’s TST Combine P/L: $163

I am continuing on my quest to find something, anything that will give me an edge. For May, 54% of trades were successful (price reached at least 1R). The stats are as follows:

Total TST Combine trades: 78
Price reached 1R: 42 (54%)
Price reached 2R while moving to BE after +1R: 15 (19%)
Price reached 2R with initial stop not moved: 22 (28%)
Average reasonable movement of price in my favor: 13.2 ticks
Average reasonable movement of price against: 13.4 ticks

I am pretty much a coin flip trader, and somewhat at a loss of what to do about it. I have stuck to the same basic context charts for a long time now, adding and subtracting this or that to help with tactics.

But herein lies a dilemma. On the one hand it is tempting to chase methods from other traders who seem to be doing so well. But, after further exploration of their methods, it always comes back to the same problem: when to stay out and when to get in. Every method can be traded well or poorly depending on how the trader interprets market context on their particular time frame.

On the other hand, the conventional wisdom says to stay consistent with a method in order to get to know it better. But what is that definition of insanity…?

I began exploring footprint at the start of the year. I really like some of the visibility it offers, but have yet to translate it into consistent results. I have also been doing a pre-market blueprint for the past couple weeks. I am generally correctly seeing the possibilities of where price may go during the day, but exploiting it with my risk tolerance is a different story. I have been using a 2400 tick chart for the macro view and an 800 tick chart for immediate context. These may be too large to use in conjunction with a 10 tick average stop. Starting Monday I will add a smaller chart, perhaps a 267 tick chart for the immediate context while using the 800 tick chart for the macro. We’ll see if that helps.

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 KahunaDog 
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Good stats

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 KahunaDog 
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Look at your success rates on the breakout trades. You should check your stats on if you dropped the bo strategy.

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I am pretty much a coin flip trader, and somewhat at a loss of what to do about it. I have stuck to the same basic context charts for a long time now, adding and subtracting this or that to help with tactics.

But herein lies a dilemma. On the one hand it is tempting to chase methods from other traders who seem to be doing so well. But, after further exploration of their methods, it always comes back to the same problem: when to stay out and when to get in. Every method can be traded well or poorly depending on how the trader interprets market context on their particular time frame.

On the other hand, the conventional wisdom says to stay consistent with a method in order to get to know it better. But what is that definition of insanity…?

I feel your pain. Regarding the dilemma above I personally look at it this way: I look to other traders for inspiration regarding things such as setting a bias, daily prep, possible trading frameworks, discipline.

I do not look to other traders for things such as: specific trading methodology, instrument, techniques, setting stop losses, risk/rewards ratios.

The reason is, I do believe that doing certain things over and over will provide experience and skill. As you say there's no use in jumping from one thing to the other when it does not seem to work.

So I believe that there is a certain 'mix' of things that I can benefit from by looking at others and things that I have to stick to do myself. I do not presume to have the right mix. There may be things that I have yet to consider that go in one list or the other. Or I may have some of them in the wrong list. But I do believe in the balance to be found, which feels to me almost like working on the ingredients of a recipe.

Does it make sense?

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 GruttePier 
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I am pretty much a coin flip trader, and somewhat at a loss of what to do about it. I have stuck to the same basic context charts for a long time now, adding and subtracting this or that to help with tactics.

But herein lies a dilemma. On the one hand it is tempting to chase methods from other traders who seem to be doing so well. But, after further exploration of their methods, it always comes back to the same problem: when to stay out and when to get in. Every method can be traded well or poorly depending on how the trader interprets market context on their particular time frame.

On the other hand, the conventional wisdom says to stay consistent with a method in order to get to know it better. But what is that definition of insanity…?

I began exploring footprint at the start of the year. I really like some of the visibility it offers, but have yet to translate it into consistent results. I have also been doing a pre-market blueprint for the past couple weeks. I am generally correctly seeing the possibilities of where price may go during the day, but exploiting it with my risk tolerance is a different story. I have been using a 2400 tick chart for the macro view and an 800 tick chart for immediate context. These may be too large to use in conjunction with a 10 tick average stop. Starting Monday I will add a smaller chart, perhaps a 267 tick chart for the immediate context while using the 800 tick chart for the macro. We’ll see if that helps.

My experience is that it is very hard to make a losing method profitable by making some changes here and there. You need a "game changer". Something that is slightly profitable for you in the beginning already, and with a lot of potential for making it better by tweaking it.

You can ask yourself the following questions:
- how many months are you trading this method? Look at the basics of your method only
- how much have your results improved?
- how realistic is it that you will get consistently profitable with your current method?

I don't know your answer on these questions, but you might consider experimenting with other methods.
Game changers. If trading is not your source of income, you have enough time and nothing to lose.

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 KahunaDog 
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Average reasonable movement of price in my favor: 13.2 ticks
Average reasonable movement of price against: 13.4 ticks

This tells me a lot.

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 jackbravo 
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maybe you need bigger stop over the reasonable average you have...like 14 tick?
and maybe a shorter target like 10 tick.....

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KahunaDog View Post
Look at your success rates on the breakout trades. You should check your stats on if you dropped the bo strategy.

I try not to trade the kind of breakout I used to trade, which was essentially entering immediately after a break of a large and obvious congestion area. They rarely worked. Most of the breaks I trade are really just pauses after quick and strong impulse moves out of congestion. Sometimes if price is making higher lows or vice versa, and it's apparent they want to take her a good ways, I will jump on board when the volatility picks up on the resumption. I am counting on momentum to carry price at least 10 ticks and sometimes more. I almost never take the break blindly.

In any case, the ones I am picking are not producing at a rate much greater than 50% so I need to somehow apply better filters to get the best of the best.

Your suggestion is a good one. I will try to post more trades. If you see anything that looks suspect please let me know.

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I feel your pain. Regarding the dilemma above I personally look at it this way: I look to other traders for inspiration regarding things such as setting a bias, daily prep, possible trading frameworks, discipline.

I do not look to other traders for things such as: specific trading methodology, instrument, techniques, setting stop losses, risk/rewards ratios.

The reason is, I do believe that doing certain things over and over will provide experience and skill. As you say there's no use in jumping from one thing to the other when it does not seem to work.

So I believe that there is a certain 'mix' of things that I can benefit from by looking at others and things that I have to stick to do myself. I do not presume to have the right mix. There may be things that I have yet to consider that go in one list or the other. Or I may have some of them in the wrong list. But I do believe in the balance to be found, which feels to me almost like working on the ingredients of a recipe.

Does it make sense?

Makes sense. Most of what I know has been learned from watching others. I have learned a lot from folks here on FIO and other places, so I like to keep my eyes and ears open for ideas that speak to me. As you say, my recipe involves a lot of ingredients taken from other places.

The problem arises when I see people supposedly making money like they're picking up dollars dropping from the sky. This is when the temptation arises to adapt the method of the moment. But I know I would have the same problems with their method as I am now, so I have to take what might help and leave the rest.

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My experience is that it is very hard to make a losing method profitable by making some changes here and there. You need a "game changer". Something that is slightly profitable for you in the beginning already, and with a lot of potential for making it better by tweaking it.

You can ask yourself the following questions:
- how many months are you trading this method? Look at the basics of your method only
- how much have your results improved?
- how realistic is it that you will get consistently profitable with your current method?

I don't know your answer on these questions, but you might consider experimenting with other methods.
Game changers. If trading is not your source of income, you have enough time and nothing to lose.

What would be an example of a "game changer" in your opinion?

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This tells me a lot.

Of course, these are just averages so they have to be taken with a grain of salt. Sometimes it's 55 ticks and sometimes it's 1 tick. It's just a cursory look at how well I am picking the proper direction. Right now it's about even. It's been worse!

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maybe you need bigger stop over the reasonable average you have...like 14 tick?
and maybe a shorter target like 10 tick.....

They're just averages so they only give a cursory view of how well I am picking the proper direction. It could be made up of 5 trades that only go 1 tick and one trade that goes 72 ticks, so it's not something that I can base a stop off of.

A better stat might be to look at a distribution over a series of trades to find where 70% of trades would be safe. However, then you would have to compare how price moved in favor on those trades to see if it traveled far enough to warrant the bigger stop. Bigger stops require either more wins or bigger wins.

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 KahunaDog 
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Of course, these are just averages so they have to be taken with a grain of salt. Sometimes it's 55 ticks and sometimes it's 1 tick. It's just a cursory look at how well I am picking the proper direction. Right now it's about even. It's been worse!

Like we pmd about. Think of that. Either bigger stop or earlier entry.

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 GruttePier 
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What would be an example of a "game changer" in your opinion?

Another method or significant change in the basics of your method.
There are plenty of examples here on FIO.

The point I'm trying to make is, if you've done everything you could in optimizing/fine-tuning your method and it's still not profitable (enough) then you should consider another method (what I called a game changer).
Experimenting 1 month with another method might bring you more than 1 more month with a tweak on your current method.

You mentioned: "But I know I would have the same problems with their method as I am now, so I have to take what might help and leave the rest."
How do you know? Did you try it? Or do you assume it? Why not just try it out and -who knows- surprise yourself?

I'm not saying you should jump from one method to another each month, but it seems like you're stuck for a while now.
You should do something different than you're doing now.

I'm trying to help, not trying to be a d***.
Just my 2 cts.

All the best!

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 FlyingMonkey 
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Interesting how price has reacted to my areas. In spite of this I continue to have difficulty monetizing my reads

This issue has been one of my biggest focuses lately. I think that as a trader in order to be successful you have to gain a confidence in your ability to anticipate outcomes in a statistically advantageous way. Period. No numbers games, no r/r tweaking. Pure and simple, am I right enough often enough to make this work?

So in order to strip away all of the bs that was possibly standing in the way of me gaining that confidence, I stopped placing orders for a while and am just recording the ideas and watching the charts to see if these ideas might have been profitable IF they were traded correctly.

Not recommending for everyone as different things work for different people. But for me the hope is that by taking things down to the basics of "I believe it is more likely that price will go here next" and not confusing things by always measuring and reflecting every decision in relation to entries / exits placed in a uncertain mindset, perhaps then confidence and certainty and clarity can build from there.

And "method" can come back to a clean slate and written again around all the accumulated skills which one hopefully has developed after watching markets day after day.

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