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Started:November 23rd, 2014 (09:08 PM) by Tap In Views / Replies:34,432 / 839
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Old September 3rd, 2016, 07:16 PM   #731 (permalink)
Market Wizard
Sarasota FL
 
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Tap In View Post
Since the new combine started on 8/16 the stats are a little better, with 9 of 18 trades making it to 1R. Still, 50% to 1R is not an edge. I am still struggling to take quality trades, even as I am ahead in the new combine.

As noted in a previous post, part of the problem is that I have tremendous difficultly jumping on board established trends thinking the trend has run its course and is ready for a deep pull back.
...

It feels like there is this mysterious chasm separating me from success, and the chasm is everything I fear in trading, and to get over this chasm will take an act of courage that I have, to this point, not been able to muster for any length of time, and this act of courage will be tremendously uncomfortable, and at times painful, but is a rite of passage that needs to be taken or nothing will change.
...

Lately I have been attempting to show every trade. As for mechanics, if anyone sees something that should be noted about my trade location, direction, timing, read of the market or whatever I would most appreciative. I know I need to buck up psychologically, but I also know that nothing cures bad trading like picking better trades. Thanks again to @mrmuggins for what you pointed out earlier.

I don't know if I can give any suggestions that will help. I certainly would if I could, but everyone is different, and I don't know what will be the thing(s) that you need. Nor am I necessarily so smart that I can see it.

But I did see these things, so take them for what they are worth:

1. Your stats show a good, high win %, and show your average win as higher than your average loss. But the average win amount is probably reflecting that initial higher win of +658. Ignoring that, you're basically flat for the Combine so far, as you said. So even with your high win %, it isn't helping you because all the trades are very small. Many are -$3, which means BE and loss of commission.

2. One of the things that I have kept noticing as I have read your journal lately is some statement like "moved stop to BE." This is a strategy to keep losses down, but kills any chance of profit. I understand that it is much better to limit a loss than to let it grow, but also that BE is not helping you much, on balance. I have seen that very often the move to BE was a good call because price continued against you, so it isn't necessarily wrong. But either the move to BE is killing you, or your original trade entry is. Do you ever see a case where, after taking some heat (loss), the trade would have turned in your favor? If so, then not being willing to take any loss will keep you from realizing the gain. Basically, you're requiring every trade to be 100% perfect and giving it no leeway before killing it. I don't know how many of these would or might have worked out, but that is something to look at, as is the quick move to BE when it isn't working right away.

3. I also notice that you tend to stop for the day after one of these BE trades. Again, stopping when you're down can be smart, but not trading after a small loss removes the chance of any profit that entire day.

4. You note that you have trouble jumping on a trend. You are right that no one knows if it will continue, but if you never take it, or wait until you are sure, you are going to never be in it.

On balance, I think that you're extremely risk-averse, and it is not working out for you. I have found all your pre-market analyses to be very good, but when it comes time to execute, you are either waiting, or going to BE, or in some other way letting price go by without you.

You have talked about your courage, but your courage is fine. Otherwise you wouldn't continue to force yourself to face all this -- and good on you for doing so, by the way.

What you need is not courage, it's to click that mouse, when your read of the market says "Do it." If you don't let your trades have some room, and you won't risk any loss, then you won't have any returns either. Now, if your reading of the market were just no good, then I would say that you need to work on that.... but your grasp of the market's possibilities, the important levels, what price might do on its way to them, etc., is pretty good, certainly as good as you need it to be. Executing what you believe is the thing.

I am very, very familiar with this, by the way. I used to be a steady break-even, no-risk, no-profit trader, who blew up every time I tried to take a step and make some profit. Now I'm still a pretty terrible trader (), sliding back and climbing out again, but the net movement is up, and it takes clicking that damn mouse to get that started.

So, I know that you realize most or all of what I have said, but I hope that you can take something from it and build on it and start to move ahead.

Good luck, man.

Bob.

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Old September 3rd, 2016, 07:19 PM   #732 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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Inletcap View Post
Do you go back and read your journal? It seams that every post talks about "BE". I ask you before if you are trying to be right or make money and you answered. Since then I see no change- every day you do the same thing- watch the market move all around on a very low timeframe chart which you end up ignoring your higher timeframe analysis ( which is good BTW) only to take some random trade thinking the trend has ended. You need to change this and believe in trading directionally until it doesn't work and ditch the fear- break even doesn't make money- Taking a loss to get a big win does!!

I didn't see this until I had submitted my post.

Since you are not as long-winded as I am, you were making the points more simply while I was still typing mine.... But I think we saw pretty much the same things.

Totally agree.

Bob.

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Old September 3rd, 2016, 08:24 PM   #733 (permalink)
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I think you should consider a different market and maybe get out of futures altogether. Moving stop to break even belies fear. You can't trade that way. Plenty of trading opportunities outside of crude and leveraged futures. Places where you can experiment more, place wider stops. Just my observation.

Someday, and that day may never come, I'll call upon you to do a service for me.
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Old September 3rd, 2016, 09:38 PM   #734 (permalink)
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bobwest View Post
I don't know if I can give any suggestions that will help. I certainly would if I could, but everyone is different, and I don't know what will be the thing(s) that you need. Nor am I necessarily so smart that I can see it.

But I did see these things, so take them for what they are worth:

1. Your stats show a good, high win %, and show your average win as higher than your average loss. But the average win amount is probably reflecting that initial higher win of +658. Ignoring that, you're basically flat for the Combine so far, as you said. So even with your high win %, it isn't helping you because all the trades are very small. Many are -$3, which means BE and loss of commission. As you know, Top Step does not count BE in the win/loss stats so the 64% reported is better than what is really happening. I am very cognizant of the BE dilemma. That is why I keep stats on all my trades as to how far they travel from entry so I can gauge whether or not I would have made money by holding or save money by exiting at BE. Right now only 50% of my trades make it to a distance that is equal to my risk, 1R. The other 50% reverse and hit my stop before reaching 1R. 30% make it to 2R. Only 10% made 3R or more. Do these look like stats that one could make money on? Sure, there are occasionally trades that run 100 ticks, but they are way too rare to count on and I would have to manage them perfectly to make up for all the full stop outs that would incur trying to catch them. I am not try to be argumentative, just realistic

2. One of the things that I have kept noticing as I have read your journal lately is some statement like "moved stop to BE." This is a strategy to keep losses down, but kills any chance of profit. I understand that it is much better to limit a loss than to let it grow, but also that BE is not helping you much, on balance. I have seen that very often the move to BE was a good call because price continued against you, so it isn't necessarily wrong. But either the move to BE is killing you, or your original trade entry is. based on my stats I believe BE is saving me and my original entries, on the whole are killing me. (bad timing, wrong direction) Do you ever see a case where, after taking some heat (loss), the trade would have turned in your favor? yes but they don't happen often enough or to a large enough extent to make up for all the full stop outs I would have to take to realize one of those gains. At least, I don't see from my stats that they doIf so, then not being willing to take any loss will keep you from realizing the gain. Basically, you're requiring every trade to be 100% perfect and giving it no leeway before killing it. I don't know how many of these would or might have worked out, but that is something to look at, as is the quick move to BE when it isn't working right away. I do not want to move to BE as much as I do but I've gotten to where I can quite often see when a trade is going to fail. If I saw more trades move in my direction more often (60% to 1R consistently) I would not move to BE as quickly.

3. I also notice that you tend to stop for the day after one of these BE trades. Again, stopping when you're down can be smart, but not trading after a small loss removes the chance of any profit that entire day.
This is a problem. I need to continue acting on my reads

4. You note that you have trouble jumping on a trend. You are right that no one knows if it will continue, but if you never take it, or wait until you are sure, you are going to never be in it.This is one of the biggest problems I have. One of the reasons my trades don't go anywhere is that I am consistently on the sidelines while the trend plays out, then I try to catch the rebound at the first sign. It's really going to come down to pure will power to get on these trends.

On balance, I think that you're extremely risk-averse, and it is not working out for you. I have found all your pre-market analyses to be very good, but when it comes time to execute, you are either waiting, or going to BE, or in some other way letting price go by without you.Very risk averse. I didn't used to be but kind of morphed that way over the years due watching most of my trades fail.

You have talked about your courage, but your courage is fine. Otherwise you wouldn't continue to force yourself to face all this -- and good on you for doing so, by the way.

What you need is not courage, it's to click that mouse, when your read of the market says "Do it." If you don't let your trades have some room, and you won't risk any loss, then you won't have any returns either. Now, if your reading of the market were just no good, then I would say that you need to work on that.... but your grasp of the market's possibilities, the important levels, what price might do on its way to them, etc., is pretty good, certainly as good as you need it to be. Executing what you believe is the thing.I think my macro reads are pretty good but they require larger stops play them. I am not in the position of taking on 50 to 100 ticks of risk by scaling in with 30 tick stops. I am trying to use the macro read to help with directional changes in order to play the market on my size, which is risking from 10-15 ticks per contract. I know that a lot of folks don't think that is enough room but many have shown it to work. (scalpers thread)

I am very, very familiar with this, by the way. I used to be a steady break-even, no-risk, no-profit trader, who blew up every time I tried to take a step and make some profit. Now I'm still a pretty terrible trader (), sliding back and climbing out again, but the net movement is up, and it takes clicking that damn mouse to get that started.clicking the damn mouse. Damn right!

So, I know that you realize most or all of what I have said, but I hope that you can take something from it and build on it and start to move ahead.

Good luck, man. Thanks for the support, moral and otherwise. Please continue to offer feedback, even if it might hurt. I need a good kick in the pants!

Bob.

Bob, thank you for your thoughtful response. I knew that my plea for help would open up a big can and that's ok. There are probably a lot of things others can see that I can not and I am willing to listen and consider everything. I thought is easier to respond to your points above in red

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Old September 3rd, 2016, 09:46 PM   #735 (permalink)
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Pariah Carey View Post
I think you should consider a different market and maybe get out of futures altogether. Moving stop to break even belies fear. You can't trade that way. Plenty of trading opportunities outside of crude and leveraged futures. Places where you can experiment more, place wider stops. Just my observation.

I am definitely trading out of fear because I have seen no evidence in my trading to be confident. Trading something that didn't cost as much money would help for holding trades longer but I am not sure it would help me be profitable. At the end of the day a certain number of your trades have to work and not enough of mine do, or at least I don't think they do. I am not sure my read of the market would be any better on a larger time frame. I used to swing trade stocks and ran into the same problems, entering markets at the wrong time in the wrong direction. I know I am sounding pretty negative right now and I'm sorry.

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Old September 3rd, 2016, 10:04 PM   #736 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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bobwest View Post
I didn't see this until I had submitted my post.

Since you are not as long-winded as I am, you were making the points more simply while I was still typing mine.... But I think we saw pretty much the same things.

Totally agree.

Bob.

Damn- we said the EXACT same thing but you said it a lot better (clearer). I obviously 100% agree with everything you wrote and will be taking notes as to how to become a better writer! Very well said Bob!

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Old September 3rd, 2016, 10:26 PM   #737 (permalink)
Market Wizard
Murrells Inlet SC
 
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Tap In View Post
Bob, thank you for your thoughtful response. I knew that my plea for help would open up a big can and that's ok. There are probably a lot of things others can see that I can not and I am willing to listen and consider everything. I thought is easier to respond to your points above in red

I've put some thought into what Bob and I said and your responses. This may sound crazy, but maybe you need to be more active as Bob said and take more shots at your ideas just to see if your trades "stats" are truly not favorable. If that is not an option, you unfortunately must stop trading your present system, go back to the drawing board and come up with something new ( but I don't think that's the answer).

Another idea- maybe you should focus on implementing a new trade- something you are not doing that is designed to be a "with trend" trade so that you can begin to find comfort there. It could be as simple as a VWAP retrace using the OR as a long short filter ( if above OR then long when price stalls near VWAP- vice versa for shorts). That's just an example but it's got a trend element and a value element so odds have got to be better than 50/50 you can make it ( or whatever you come up with) work and learn to get on board trends.

One last thing- Oil is a difficult market to trade because there are no internals and a lot of forces that generate big moves on minor news. Have you considered the boring old indices like ES? A lot more information can be taken into consideration than simply price and volume, the moves are generally slower and levels played upon more precisely than CL affording you more comfort and less fear.


Last edited by Inletcap; September 3rd, 2016 at 10:32 PM.
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Old September 3rd, 2016, 10:27 PM   #738 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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Tap In View Post
Bob, thank you for your thoughtful response. I knew that my plea for help would open up a big can and that's ok. There are probably a lot of things others can see that I can not and I am willing to listen and consider everything. I thought is easier to respond to your points above in red

You know what? You probably have had the experience in other things of failing and trying and failing again and then suddenly getting it. I sure have! Sometimes the failing part lasts a long time, but not forever. And then you succeed at it.

I think you are pushing in the right direction. It is hard stuff, and not for the faint of heart, which you definitely are not.

I agree with your comments in red, including your clarifications. You are the one who knows what he is doing.

It is, unfortunately, a totally individual journey/effort/adventure/pain-in-the-ass, whichever you want to call it. Your solution will be yours, and I am certain you will get there, if you persist at it. Which is your choice, of course.

Good luck, and if I can do anything to help, I will be glad to do so. Everyone who is reading your journal is rooting for your success.

Bob.

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Old September 3rd, 2016, 10:41 PM   #739 (permalink)
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Inletcap View Post
Do you go back and read your journal? It seams that every post talks about "BE". I ask you before if you are trying to be right or make money and you answered. OK, I'm listening but I am not clear on what you are saying. I guess I don't understand what you mean by "trying to be right". As it pertains to trading, my definition of being right is that price moves in my favor far enough to take profits before it moves against me and forces me out. Am I misunderstanding what you mean? Since then I see no change- every day you do the same thing- watch the market move all around on a very low timeframe chart which you end up ignoring your higher timeframe analysis ( which is good BTW) only to take some random trade thinking the trend has ended. You are correct. I acknowledge this as a problem. You need to change this and believe in trading directionally until it doesn't work and ditch the fear- break even doesn't make money- Taking a loss to get a big win does!!

I cant trade the higher time frame analysis because it would require more risk and I am not in position to scale in and take on 50-100 ticks of risk to play these events like you do. I mainly use the macro analysis for directional clues to drop down to my risk level, which is 10-15 ticks per contract. I know you don't believe in this small of risk but it is all I can do right now and others have made it work. If you were forced at gun point to trade with my risk tolerance, could you make money? If so, what would be the one or two things you would suggest I focus on or do next week?

Thank you for your time. I appreciate it!

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Old September 3rd, 2016, 11:05 PM   #740 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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Inletcap View Post
Another idea- maybe you should focus on implementing a new trade- something you are not doing that is designed to be a "with trend" trade so that you can begin to find comfort there....

One last thing- Oil is a difficult market to trade because there are no internals and a lot of forces that generate big moves on minor news. Have you considered the boring old indices like ES? A lot more information can be taken into consideration than simply price and volume, the moves are generally slower and levels played upon more precisely than CL affording you more comfort and less fear.

@Tap In: I know you're being bombarded by advice, but two quick thoughts raised by the above:

- Any sort of "with trend" trade has a better chance of success, particularly if you can get in fairly early. The time that trend-oriented trades will fail is during a non-trending range. If you can see when price comes out of a range, then the trend trade has a better chance of succeeding. Your pre-market work on likely support/resistance levels may help identify relevant levels here.

- Oil is a difficult market, period. I'm scared of it, although it is also very intriguing. It sort of sucks you in. @Big Mike, who is a very, very, very good trader, has called it the "widow maker." ES is slower, "boring" as @Inletcap says, and it won't take your head off so casually. People who crave action despise it. But there is money there to be made. Warning: it spends a lot of time in ranges and does not have the sharp reversals and big surges of CL. People used to CL complain about it. But it is also more survivable.

Generally, making a big change, such as a different market, is something to be cautious about. But you might think about this also.

Just a thought.

Bob.

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