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RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures
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RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures

  #11 (permalink)
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lsubeano View Post
great thread! congrats on journaling here! much appreciated!

you wrote:

'Still struggling with unplanned trading driven by my expectations rather than planning SUs according to my Trade Plan (TP).'


I'm sure most of use feel that many times.....do you feel it's an 'intuitive' feeling of market movement or just impulsive, markets looks good?

Also I find the charts a little hard to follow.....but it just may be me.....if they're zoomed in a bit more it might be easier to see where you entered/exited.

Thanks for the comment. I will try to zoom in to better show entry/exit. I think context is equally important and don't want to lose that. Regarding impulse trading, the main problem I face I think is being overly influenced by recent,
strong PA. Intuition would be fine if it were in line with my plan. For example to see bullish strength develop into uFmW (bullish wedge/3 push pattern) and then intuitively or impulsively take long trades at the uFmW key prices would be fine, consistent with TP. My problem is that I begin to envision price moving to extension key price areas and then hastily enter at market or using LTF trigger w/out any structural basis, essentially absent any edge. Once I recognize this I am unable to properly manage the trade. Favorable movement has me hesitant to exit, wrongly accepting the bad trade decision. Unfavorable movement results in hastily exiting at market when the position could be better managed and exited at a more favorable level. I have a plan to better address this and will begin implementing it immediately.

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  #12 (permalink)
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12/22/14

Rough day - only 1 winner out of 5 trades for a gross loss of about ($800). I spent most of my effort on GC and CL because the structure was larger, and I thought there might be opportunities for climactic reversals at the edges early in the session. Unfortunately I failed to consider 2 important factors. First, both GC and CL broke strongly out recent consolidations, likely to lead to further strength in BO direction (and it didn't help that DXY had strong uBO). Second, I failed to reflect on the mistakes that led to my post from 12/15 about Channel vs Spk PA. The dBO was a spk, climactic, but by the time I started trading in them the market had transitioned into a channel -> 3 steps forward, 2 steps back -> the type of PA that can go on for a very long time, and that was GC/CL (and anything else strongly positively/negatively correlated to DXY). There were good structural opportunities but they were not reached until late in the day. Once again I was focused on looking at SUs and trading what I expected, rather than conducting proper market analysis and planning trades according to my plan. Always so obvious at the end of the day. It is discouraging that, having been trading for some time, I am still making many of the same basic mistakes again and again.

FWIW I read an interesting kindle ebook over the weekend that was really thought provoking - Inventory Trading by Shonn Campbell. He contrasts market cycles with inventory cycles of a typical retailer. For example consider a store that sells swimsuits. The owner has a pretty good idea that demand will come in sometime mid/early spring and last into early summer, so he needs to have inventory in place by late winter. He doesn't know if buyers will come in March, April, or May, as any number of factors can effect timing such as weather. Shonn is addressing the mistakes traders often make by believing they have a level of precision about futures price movement and making decisions when these mistaken expectations don't pan out exactly as anticipated. The swimsuit guy is going into a panic and blowing out his inventory at a deep discount in April just because demand hasn't yet appeared. If he did he would be out of business in a few years. If he is confident that in any 7 or 8 out of 10 years the cycle will follow a general pattern of demand, and if he manages his inventory size appropriately so that a cold summer doesn't put him out of business, he will have a good business. I certainly fall victim to making premature decisions based on expectations about Px timing and Px paths so this is a concept I am going to reflect on.

1. S 2 ES 2073.25 at 00:11 (overnight), B 2 2074.25: ($100)
27000tk uFmW, dS = 2075.5
Testing the recent highs from early December, this was a reasonable dKPx level, was prepared to risk 4pts for possible reaction down to 2055 area. Px held firm so exited end of day.

2. B 4 ES 2070.75 at 6:37, S 2 2070, S 2 2068.25: ($325)
1m uBOp over uTL. Reasonable trade by needed to have StpX below Friday late day Low = 2065. Although I used 1m for trigger, this wasn't a 1m trade. Note again - YM was the early leader among the indexes and the initial PB after the open push higher was far smaller than that of ES, and YM trended higher the rest of the day while ES went sideways. Wish I actually traded with this in mind.

3. S 1 CL 55.91 at 7:13, B 1 56.04: ($130)
987tk dFmW, dW5 = 56.07. Good trade, reasonable entry, mismanaged StpX. Originally had StpX at 56.13, foolishly tightened it when it broke down.

4. B 1 CL 55.54 at 8:11, S 1 55.28: ($260)
987t dFmW, ufBO ufW = 55.55. Confused, lost context of dFmC (bear channel), mistakenly looking for uKPx. Earlier explosive selling and absence of any real buying pressure has market clearly down at this point and I am buying a relatively weak reversal formation. There are 2 clear uKPx levels below that I should have waited for.

5. B 1 CL 55.35 at 8:44, S 1 55.30: ($50)
987t dFmW, uX1/uS = 55.14-19. Could have worked better entry closer to uKPx but still reasonable. Mismanaged exit. Target was ahead of dW5 = 55.89. I set LimX at 55.82 using 0.5ATR cushion, but only got to 55.79. Was expecting lower high so had StpX below last minor swg low but needed to be beyond LOD. At this point though the market is becoming much more 2 sided and considering the lower uKPx of uX1 = 55.14 was still intact I should have held this as a swing trade. coulda shoulda

6. S 2 GC 1178.2 at 9:15, B 2 1180.5: ($300)
987t dFmC, dBOp. Invalid SU. Did not qualify as dBOp (bear BO PB). As a rule of thumb I qualify fBO (failed BO) and BOp based on no more than 1 TTF (trading time frame) close beyond KPx. So if closes beyond KPx (becomes failed KPx or fKPx) and then next bar also closes beyond KPx, then I enter on the next strong WT SB (1 leg PB), if one develops, for BOp. Likewise if reverses sharply back thru fKPx after only 1 close beyond, I consider this fBO and then enter on the next strong CT SB, if one develops, for reversal. In this case, reversed after 1 bar for possible ufBO, but no uSB developed.

7. B 1 GC 1172.5 at 12:35, S 1 1176.2: +$370
987t dFmC, ufBO at ufS = 1171.6, exited ahead of dW5 = 1176.8.

8. B 1 GC 1176.1, currently long
Good FT (follow thru), entered ahead of close for swing trade, target = 1181.2

Attached Thumbnails
RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures-122214-es-27kt.jpg   RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures-122214-es-1m.jpg   RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures-122214-cl-987t.jpg   RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures-122214-gc-987t.jpg  
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  #13 (permalink)
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122314


Much better day in terms of performance, finishing up roughly $1400 gross on 4 trades. Entries and exits could have been better but I caught large parts of the moves. My only regret is not taking more trades. In hindsight today was very good for my style of trading and, unlike yesterday, there were many more opportunities. the choppiness in CL had me watching the screen way too much. I was also concerned that liquidity would be much lower, increasing the chances of errant spikes that could cause real damage.

All PnL gross of commission/fees, all times PST
Format: Bought/Sold (B/S), #cts/shrs, Ticker, Entry Price, entry time, exit (S/D), Exit Price, PnL

1. B 1 GC 1176.0 at 13:58 (yesterday), S 1 1181.2 (last night): ($520)
I mentioned this trade in yesterday's journal and it helped offset most of yesterday's loss.
987t FmR, tested down to 2 SF uKPx -> uX1 (100% extension of prior range) and uS (measured move of prior dSwg, the "S" comes from symmetry) -> 1171.6-1172.5. the entry was sloppy - basically entered near exchange close. After the strong reaction up, reversing the weak dBO thru the 2 KPx levels, I thought there was a chance for a gap opening when. I saw the next dKPx = 1181.9, thus my tgt was 7tks lower. I determine SU area based on 2 factors -> KPx that is the primary basis for the trade and the midpoint b/w the StpX and Tgt1. I had to keep below prev LOD = 1170.7 so used 1170.2, so midpt was 1176. This ensures at least RR of 1, the minimum I require. Based on the reaction at the KPx I thought probability of success was high, > 60% so still made sense.
2. B 2 BP 1.5507 at 5:40, S 2 BP 1.5499: ($100)
3000tk dFmC, ufBO at confluence of KPx levels along TL. Poor entry. I used minor ufBO on 233t chart to enter but selling pressure was much too strong to enter this point, prior to any evidence of buying. Held through push down to 1.5479 then exited on PB to fTL. Lucky to exit at only small loss. Market then tested down to 1.5476 before reversing sharply. This is the point I should have entered, when the market tried 2X but was unable to hold below TL. Distracted with other trades.
3. B 1 CL 55.59 at 6:48, S 1 56.11: +$520
987t dFmW, uW5 = 55.54. Actually missed the more appropriate entry based on ufBO of both uS = 55.13 and ufBO of immediately prior Swg Low. That would have been a relatively low risk entry of roughly 0.35 to target 50% retrace of TR (dW5 = 56.00). The strong reaction up was the reason I took the next PB. This type of PA - fBO at edge of large TR - can lead to channel retracing all the way to opposite edge (Al Brooks talks about this in his books) and I originally planned to exit around 56.50. The big 2D swgs had me exit on the next uBO, and I thought if it ran it would have another deep PB and I could reenter uBOp.
4. B 1 CL 56.08 at 8:19, S 1 56.54: +$460
987t uFmC - continuation of last trade - reentered next PB to uTL. The only mistake was not to keep riding the uCh. There were several more big trades after this.

Attached Thumbnails
RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures-122214-gc-987t.jpg   RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures-122314-bp-3000t.jpg   RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures-122314-cl-987t.jpg  

Last edited by rlbtrader; December 23rd, 2014 at 09:37 PM.
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  #14 (permalink)
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122414

Quiet day - up $625 on a single trade held from yesterday. Entry was in 2 parts, not something I have done in the past but something I will be doing much more of going forward for swing trades. The past 6 mths I have had unremarkable success trading stocks and I think I finally came to terms with the issue, at least how to mentally manage it. I won't get into the details but the main issue I faced was trying to manage scalp opportunities using a swing style. This sounds obvious but I think my issue has been at the subconscious level. Time and again I made decisions that seemed to be impulsive and ended up consistently sabotaging otherwise successful trades. I finally came to the realization that once uncertainty grew my decision making process fell back on what it knew. I have made changes to my plan that I hope will help my scalp trading as well as my swing trading.

All PnL gross of commission/fees, all times PST
Format: Bought/Sold (B/S), #cts/shrs, Ticker, Entry Price, entry time, exit (S/D), Exit Price, PnL

1. B 1 EC 1.2192 at 6:13 (12/23), B 1 EC 1.2182 at 6:59 (12/23), S 2 1.2212 (1:12 on 12/24): +$625
3000t dFmC. I was looking at 3 uKPx levels: uS = 1.2191, uS = 1.2173I, uX1 1.2172. This created KPx area defined by 1.2172-91. If 1.2172 broke then I would exit my initial pos'n. If it held and a signal bar or trigger developed then I would add, but still use a break below 1.2172 (with hard stop at 0.5 ATR beyond = 1.2164). The strength of the move down and the holiday had me exit fairly quickly just ahead of dW5 = 1.2214. FWIW, I have an order to buy EC at 1.2061. There is a weekly uKPx -> uS = 1.2048, and DXY is approaching a handful of important levels above at 90.31 to 91.19.

Attached Thumbnails
RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures-122414-ec-3000tk.jpg   RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures-122414-ec-233tk.jpg  
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  #15 (permalink)
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123014

I am combining yesterday (122914) and today since I only took a few trades in CL yesterday. Finished up roughly $380 gross over the 2 days, despite a fair amount of reckless trading. I realize my commentary has been too long and I am the only one who understands the shorthand anyway. I will post charts for each trade and then simply comment, for my own benefit, whether I followed my rules for entry and exit. My TP may be constantly changing to some degree (not great but reflects my personality) but the real problem is failure to mechanically follow the TP. Today was a good example in the indexes. My analysis clearly indicated today was a Trading Range (TR) day, despite the general bearish bias. TR day means focus on structure, expect strong tests into SR but no FT, expect extended stalls/consolidation after entries. For some reason I had in the back of my mind fear of transition to trend PA, but there were zero signs of that, according to my TP. This had me exit a number of trades prematurely.

All PnL gross of commission/fees, all times PST
Format: Bought/Sold (B/S), #cts/shrs, Ticker, Entry Price, entry time, exit (S/B), Exit Price, PnL

1. S 1 CL 54.35 at 9:08 (Monday), B 1 54.32: +$30
Valid trade but rushed and entered 13tks below plan KPx. Was doing research and not planning to trade Monday but noticed very strong selling pressure. Poor entry had me second guessing trade and impulsively exited on stall.
2. S 1 CL 54.24 at 9:17, B 1 53.87: +$370
Selling pressure continued so took next valid plan dBOp. Exited ahead of next uKPx, per plan.
3. B 1 CL 53.82 at 9:28, S 1 53.62: ($200)
Level was per plan, but clearly against very strong selling, no evidence of buying pressure, not per plan.
4. S 1 JY 0.8382 at 0:04 (overnight LimE, limit order), B 1 0.8404: ($275)
Entry was per plan at dS = 0.8392. Test swg was very strong, created ukPx = 0.8352 that should have been my exit but was reached before I got to computer. Should have immediately exited at small 15tk gain when turned on computer but was conflicted. mismanaged exit, not per plan. costly.
5. B 4 YM 17925 at 7:05, S 4 17918: ($140)
Entry per plan, but impulsive exit not per plan
6. B 4 YM 17924 at 7:18, S 4 17920: ($80)
Same thing - entry per plan, exit not per plan.
7. B 1 CL 53.44 at 8:31, S 1 53.64: +$200
Scalp, per plan both entry/exit
8. B 2 ES 2073.5 at 10:41, S 2 2075.5: +$200
Entry per plan, exit too soon.
9. B 2 YM 17899 at 11:03, S 2 17924: +$250
Same trade at 5/6 - entry per plan but swing trade so should have kept 1 ct for T2 = 17952.
Took this trade because ES did not reach my 2nd entry LimE.

Attached Thumbnails
RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures-122914-cl-987t.jpg   RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures-123014-jy-3000t.jpg   RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures-123014-cl-1m.jpg   RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures-123014-ym-987t.jpg   RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures-123014-es-5m.jpg  
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  #16 (permalink)
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rlbtrader View Post
9. B 2 YM 17899 at 11:03, S 2 17924: +$250

Hi,

thank you for sharing your process. Tried to reconstruct some of your trades. I pretty much like your 5 and 6th trades which is playing the range game. And trade-9 entry also looks pretty cool.

you said
Quoting 
My analysis clearly indicated today was a Trading Range (TR) day, despite the general bearish bias.

nevertheless from outside it looks like though you played the "return to average" game.

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Quoting 
My TP may be constantly changing to some degree (not great but reflects my personality)

yep ultimately we are all humans.. to some degree.

cheers,

J.

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  #17 (permalink)
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rlbtrader View Post
I am combining yesterday (122914) and today since I only took a few trades in CL yesterday. Finished up roughly $380 gross over the 2 days, despite a fair amount of reckless trading. I realize my commentary has been too long and I am the only one who understands the shorthand anyway. I will post charts for each trade and then simply comment, for my own benefit, whether I followed my rules for entry and exit. My TP may be constantly changing to some degree (not great but reflects my personality) but the real problem is failure to mechanically follow the TP. Today was a good example in the indexes. My analysis clearly indicated today was a Trading Range (TR) day, despite the general bearish bias. TR day means focus on structure, expect strong tests into SR but no FT, expect extended stalls/consolidation after entries. For some reason I had in the back of my mind fear of transition to trend PA, but there were zero signs of that, according to my TP. This had me exit a number of trades prematurely.

All PnL gross of commission/fees, all times PST
Format: Bought/Sold (B/S), #cts/shrs, Ticker, Entry Price, entry time, exit (S/B), Exit Price, PnL

1. S 1 CL 54.35 at 9:08 (Monday), B 1 54.32: +$30
Valid trade but rushed and entered 13tks below plan KPx. Was doing research and not planning to trade Monday but noticed very strong selling pressure. Poor entry had me second guessing trade and impulsively exited on stall.
2. S 1 CL 54.24 at 9:17, B 1 53.87: +$370
Selling pressure continued so took next valid plan dBOp. Exited ahead of next uKPx, per plan.
3. B 1 CL 53.82 at 9:28, S 1 53.62: ($200)
Level was per plan, but clearly against very strong selling, no evidence of buying pressure, not per plan.
4. S 1 JY 0.8382 at 0:04 (overnight LimE, limit order), B 1 0.8404: ($275)
Entry was per plan at dS = 0.8392. Test swg was very strong, created ukPx = 0.8352 that should have been my exit but was reached before I got to computer. Should have immediately exited at small 15tk gain when turned on computer but was conflicted. mismanaged exit, not per plan. costly.
5. B 4 YM 17925 at 7:05, S 4 17918: ($140)
Entry per plan, but impulsive exit not per plan
6. B 4 YM 17924 at 7:18, S 4 17920: ($80)
Same thing - entry per plan, exit not per plan.
7. B 1 CL 53.44 at 8:31, S 1 53.64: +$200
Scalp, per plan both entry/exit
8. B 2 ES 2073.5 at 10:41, S 2 2075.5: +$200
Entry per plan, exit too soon.
9. B 2 YM 17899 at 11:03, S 2 17924: +$250
Same trade at 5/6 - entry per plan but swing trade so should have kept 1 ct for T2 = 17952.
Took this trade because ES did not reach my 2nd entry LimE.

Thanks for posting, just read the entire thread, looking forward to following you in the new year...........

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  #18 (permalink)
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Up $632 Gross, $586 net. Today was a crazy day for me but very enlightening. My biggest win was a trade I took in CL that at one point was against me about ($800), beyond my pain threshold for a single trade. See the enclosed CL 3000tk chart. Given that the leg down began roughly in line with the leg up, I was expecting a symmetrical move down. I focused on 2 KPx levels - 52.99 using only the 2nd larger swg up, and 52.61, using both swgs. For overnight orders I typically err on the conservative side but for some reason I became overly convicted in DXY finally finding selling pressure at the weekly major dKPx = 90.30 and so I thought there was a decent chance this could lift commodities as a whole so I used an aggressive entry. Perhaps flawed, but the real mistake was with risk management. By the time I got to my office the overnight trade was already against me about $400. Clearly I had not truly considered the dollar risk of the wide SU area. Based on my trading style this is a dilemma I have often faced. Do I 1) exit the initial position and take the loss (well deserved punishment for bad planning), 2) use the favorable level to work a better exit, or 3) add to it at the favorable level (and crazy attractive RR). This led me to recently modify my TP recently to take structural entries in multiple parts when SU area is large, and while I was taking outsized risk, in the end the trade was managed according to TP guidelines, so I consider this my most important win of the month (that I also realize could have become my biggest loss of the month).
All PnL gross of commission/fees, all times PST
Format: Bought/Sold (B/S), #cts/shrs, Ticker, Entry Price, entry time, exit (S/B), Exit Price, PnL

1. B 1 CL 53.08 at 3:17, S 1 53.00: ($80)
My recently modified TP says that if I enter partial at proximal KPx and then enter remainder at distal KPx, I must exit the initial position near BE, so exit per plan.
2. B 1 CL 52.71 at 5:37, S 1 53.33: +$620
entry, exit per plan
3. B 1 GC 1190.8 at 7:28, S 1 1187.5: ($330)
Entry per plan, exit not per plan -> planned StpX was 1188.9 but decided to give more room. Became obvious that selling pressure was too strong. Real opportunity was the dBOp on the retest. I was watching this, set alert, but missed due to SBUX run.
4. S 1 CL 52.81 at 7:41, B 1 52.85: ($40)
Entry not per plan, quick to exit
5. B 1 EC 1.2116 at 7:59, S 1 1.2105: ($138)
Actually kept this open -> exit price simply marked at close.
6. B 2 ES 2051.5 at 12:52, S 2 2054.25: +$275
late day scalp around HTF KPx - risking 2pts, favorable RR - per plan
7. B 2 ES 2052.75 at 12:53, S 2 2053.5: +$75
same
8. B 2 ES 2051 at 13:00, S 2 2053.5: +$250
same - type of conditions I should aggressively trade

Attached Thumbnails
RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures-123114-cl-3000t.jpg   RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures-123114-gc-987t.jpg   RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures-123114-gc-89t.jpg   RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures-123114-ec-3000t.jpg   RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures-123114-es-60m.jpg  
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  #19 (permalink)
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010215

Up $1137 net. Shocked at this - wasn't planning to actively trade but alerts went off and I got drawn into mkt, not great since I had done almost no preparation. Wasted time fading BP in the face of very persistent selling. I fully recognize that I was rewarded today for bad behavior (not fully focused or prepared), which is not good. BP should have hurt me. I was lucky yesterday w/ EC trade but I was actually very prepared with an action plan and on new year's day was not going to play around. YM and CL were fairly clear SUs. Both stalled at what I thought were very clear KPx areas, and given that it was a Friday and holiday week I believed odds of ufBO were reasonable. Despite the lack of preparedness I felt I managed my trades reasonably well, particularly the exits, mainly b/c I stuck to my plans after entry.

1. S 1 EC 1.2105 (marked at Tues close), B 1 1.2112 (Thurs afternoon): $83
Watched Thurs PA at open - planned to hold only if gap up that did not immediately reverse or gap down that reversed up. Opened mid range so exited almost immediately after open - lucky!

2. B 2 BP 1.5364 at 8:14, S 1 1.5374, S 1 1.5355: ($2)
Fighting strength, no buying coming in. Arguably entry per plan, but context completely wrong. this was a clean dBO far beyond edge of range.

3. B 2 BP 1.5350 at 9:21, S 2 1.5348: ($33)
looking at 233t chart - hard to tell - is it trending???
not per plan

4. B 2 BP 1.5346 at 9:55, B 2 1.5346: ($9)
not per plan - impulsive trade - finally giving up trying to fade - should have been shorting

5. B 4 YM 17666 at 10:51, S 2 17696, S 2 17726: $883
Entry per plan, exit per plan -> this is near ideal SU for my approach

6. B 1 CL 52.14 at 11:31, S 1 52.54: ($396)
Entry per plan, exit per plan

7. B 4 YM 17748 at 13:00, S 2 17738, S 2 17741: ($187)
Entry per plan, exit per plan. Exited afterhours at 13:31, 13:39.

Attached Thumbnails
RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures-010215-bp-2h.jpg   RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures-010215-bp-233t.jpg   RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures-010215-ym-2h.jpg   RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures-010215-cl-3000t.jpg  
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Newport Beach, CA
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: TS
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Favorite Futures: ES/YM
 
Posts: 42 since Jun 2010
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010215


FWIW, here is Trademanager from TS today w/ my trades, just to keep me honest

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futures io > > > RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures

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