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RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures


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RB's Formation Trading Process for Futures

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  #1 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TS
Broker: IB, TS
Trading: ES/YM
 
Posts: 43 since Jun 2010
Thanks: 4 given, 43 received

RB's Trade Journal
I have been an independent trader for the past 8 years and was an institutional trader for 12 years prior. I currently work at a prop trading firm trading equities, but my real focus is on the futures markets that I trade for my own account. The equity indexes cover much of my daily trade activity but I also dabble in rates, FX, and commodities (active recently in CL) under certain market conditions. My trading time frame is typically 5 minutes or the equivalent in tick charts (e.g. NQ 987tk), higher time frame is typically 15M to 2H (and equivalent in tick, e.g. NQ 3000tk), and lower time frame is 1 minute (and equivalent in tick, e.g. NQ 144tk). The current iteration of my process (seems to be forever evolving which itself is an issue) is just my own way of organizing good price action ideas taken from many other discretionary traders who have published their work in one way or another. As a note, I began as a systematic trader and spent a several years coding hundreds of systems before finally realizing that a systematic approach didn't suit my personality. I have gone down countless roads and have committed every novice error possible, and sadly I still do to some extent.

I have a number of personal goals for the journal. Even today I had problems with reactive, unplanned trading, and so accountability is a big goal. Complexity is another huge problem and I figure if I can't explain a trade in terms of my basic trade plan in a way that makes sense to others then my analysis is overly complex, if not flawed. Additional objectives are to draw feedback on my process and find others trading in a similar manner to possibly exchange ideas.

As for my process, I look at any market in terms of 5 different formations (structures), or Forms: 3 Directional - Trend (FmT), Channel (FmC), Spike (FmS), 1 Partly Directional - Wedge (FmW), and 1 Non Directional - Range (FmR). I define each of these uniquely based on specific conditions, and this likely differs significantly from common definitions of these terms. Simplified, one might describe the market in 2 basic conditions: Trending or Ranging. In a trending market, we are looking for pull backs to enter in the direction of the trend, and in a ranging market we are looking to fade tests of the edge of the range. The Form approach basically fine tunes how far the pull back should retrace or where specifically a test should be faded.

I arrived at this "Form" approach from finding common structural conditions that I use to define the setup (SU) area, entry management, stop loss, and target levels. Each Form has specific levels I call Key Price (KPx) that I believe represent important market decision points. I have a process for evaluating price action at these decision points for clues as to the next move, and this becomes the basis for every trade setup (SU). My thesis is that once a decision becomes objectively clear then an outsized number of traders will act in uniform fashion immediately after (area of imbalance, often called supply/demand zones) and price will be driven to the next KPx area. The stronger the imbalance, the stronger and more important this KPx area should be on subsequent tests. If that subsequent move away is quite different from preceding price action then this typically results in a new Form containing that KPx area that led to the imbalance.

I classify each form as strong form (SF) or weak form (WF). This is based on relative strength, a concept I call Relative Directional Strength (RDS), by comparing the current Form with the last occurrence of the same Form, which could be in the same direction (With Trend, WT) or opposite (Counter Trend, CT). Absolute strength is also important but I find the implications to be quite different. If the Form RDS is increasing or steady state then I label it SF Form and consider that Form's KPx levels as SF KPX. Likewise decreasing RDS would result in WF Form and related WF KPx. For example, if the imbalance cited in the last paragraph was absolutely strong but led to an extension that was smaller than the most recent similar Form say from the prior day, then this new Form would be WF, as would be that seemingly strong KPx. Absolute strength might have been great but relative strength was decreasing. The classification of WF or SF KPx drives my entry management and position management decisions.

Multiple time frame analysis is also a big part of my process. My assumption is that markets are fractal and so I can conduct the same analysis across time frames to stay aware of decision points derived from other time frames. My biggest losses typically come from impulsive trades in which I did not fully go through my analysis, missing an obvious KPx level on a different time frame and unknowingly trading against the market's clear decision and explosive follow through.

This is already too winded so I will refrain from getting into examples and more specifics about the plan. I will begin citing all of my trades from Monday and will include relevant plan details with each trade. If it would be helpful to others I can also post parts of my plan with details.

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  #3 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
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This is my first day of posting results. Sorry for the data overload - will get better at organizing. Any tips would be appreciated on format. All criticism welcome.

Finished down about $350 in an awful day of trading. I mismanaged big opportunities in CL and ES and really got off
my game. A series of impulsive, reactive trades set me back about $1500! I typically take 3-5 trades per day and today
I took 25 (the others were scratches, no significant PnL impact)! Had I stuck to those trades that met
trade plan conditions instead of getting caught up in volatility, it could have been a reasonable day. Likewise, had
I not had 2 big wins in CL, it could have been a disaster.


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 CL 56.62 at 15:30 (Sunday after open), S 15:35 57.63: +$1010
30M dFmC (down channel), SU bull failed BO (ufBO) of TL
Setup (SU) area 56.58-56.88, Stop Loss (StpX) 56.13, Tgt 57.63
triggered on 89 tick up breakout (uBO)
-lucky - as planned

2. S 4 ES 2009.75 at 6:39, B 4 ES 2011.5 ($350)
5M dFmW (down Wedge - 3 push pattern), SU test distal edge of Wedge (dWd)
SU area 2007-2012, StpX 2013, T1 2002, T2 1993
triggered on 1m dBO
-complete mismanagement - tightened StpX after entry, stopped out, would have been winner

3. B 2 CD 0.8590 at 7:32, S 2 CD 0.8585 ($125)
3000 tk dFmW, SU ufBO of uS (Symmetrical Measured Move vs. prior dFmW) = 0.8592
SU Area 0.8590-8600, StpX 0.8574, T1 0.8615, T2 0.8626
triggered on 233t uSB (signal bar)
-tested down thru uKPx (Key Price) but tried in case there was sharp reversal, didn't happen so scratched

4. B 4 YM 17188 at 7:42, S 2 YM 17208, S 2 YM 17242 +$740
5M (day session) dFmW, SU ufBO of Previous Day (PrevD) Low = 17187
triggered on 144 tk uSB, StpX 17173, T1 17208, T2 17242
-tested exactly to uS (symmetrical move) so entered next LTF stall

5. B 4 ES 1988 at 8:21, S 4 ES 1986 ($400)
3000 tk dFmW (Globex Low), SU ufBO proximal edge of Wedge (uWp)
triggered on 3000 tk uSB, StpX 1986, T1 1992, T2 2001
-bad trade - in emotionally bad state from mismanagement of trade 1, price breaking down too hard - wrong side of trade

6. S 4 ES 1986 at 8:23, B 4 1984.25 +$350
3000 tk - dBOp (bear BO PB, basically SAR last trade)
impulse trade - could have been good but not no real SU - scared - shaken out small gain, missed good move

7-12 5 impulsive trades in ES from 8:39 - 10:51 - net ($800)
Overtrading, got completely off game, focused on HTF (higher time frame) but PA (price action) far clearer at LTF

13. S 1 CL 55.83 at 11:19, B 1 CL 56.24 ($410)
987tk dBOp of prior failed uS (up Symmetrical Key Price)
Awful - the failed KPx level was 56.13 (0.30 higher!) but approaching pit close so "thought" might get meltdown
No basis for this costly trade, mismanaged exit

14-18 5 impulse/revenge trades, no basis, mismanaged in fast market ($820)

19 S 1 CL 56.17 at 11:26, B 1 CL 55.52 +$650
987t dFmW, dW5 (50% retrace of Wedge) = 56.21, SU Area 56.08-56.38, StpX 56.40, Tgt 55.35
finally - planned, valid trade - only problem was exiting ahead of Tgt due to very sloppy PA after pit close

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  #4 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
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Be careful about what you wish for. Problem yesterday was overtrading and taking trades inconsistent with trade plan (TP). Committed myself to diligence today and had a positive day but missed tons of valid trades consistent w/ TP. Big problem was having a number of winners early on and then adopting overly conservative mindset. This is a disappointing in the sense that it tells me I am still applying subjectivity to the process. If there is any consistency in my trading it is the knack for selecting SUs that are prone to lose and the knack for ignoring SUs likely to lead to big wins.

Finished up $1,259, better than typical result but not representative of the string of clear opportunities (wrt my TP). I am finding more and more that days that cause me the biggest grief (cause frustration, leads to conservative trading) are often followed by days w/ the best opportunities. If only I could follow TP thru thick and thin...

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 CL 54.18 at 6:20, S 1 CL 53.91 6:39: ($270)
3000t dFmC (dChannel), strong ufBO of dTL after pit open, entered uBOp (u BO PB)
For triggered I used pit session only ("Regular Trading Hours" RTH) 1 minute chart, uSB
Screwed up StpX - should have held below LOD = 53.60 but I tightened below 1m Swg Lo => 1 f***ing tick thru StpX (stop loss exit) then reversed. At least I dad sense to reenter as thesis remained valid (Px held above TL)

2. B 4 ES 1971.5 at 6:32, S 2 ES 1974 6:35, S 2 ES 1976.25: +$475
1m RTH chart, entered on close > uS (symmetrical swg) = 1969.25, T1 at PrevD (previous day) Low, T2 at dR5 (50% retrace of gap swg). Certainly exited way too soon given strength of buying pressure, but could have reentered on retest of PrevD low at 7:15. Got distracted looking at CL for reentry opportunity ( and missed that also)

3. B 1 CL 54.05 at 6:40, S 1 CL 54.91 7:06: +$860
same as above. Tgt ahead of opposite TL but went way beyond

4. B 2 BP 1.5730 at 6:47, S 1 1.5754 7:07, S 1 1.5725 7:50: +$119
233t uFmC, entered LimE (limit order) ahead of uS = 1.5725. not great SU but given importance of overnight UK econ reports, and DXY weakness, though might take out HOD.
5. S 2 ES 1986.25 at 10:12, B 2 1984.25 10:26: +$200
3000t globex (I always use globex with tick charts), entered dBOp of uFmW failed uWd (base of up wedge that formed 8:00-8:30) - mkt pushed strongly thru this level, retested and held, so entered on next dSB. Mismanaged Tgt - obvious uKPx based on globex bear swg - projects to uS = 1978.75. whenever I see comparable size/strength swgs nearby I always look at possible symmetrical move (I abbreviate this KPx as "uS" or "dS") - think many algos use for entry/exit -> this is basis for channels I think. This trade is good example of trading scared - didn't want to give up early gains - huge opportunity cost.
6. B 2 ES 1984.5 at 10:35, S 2 ES 1989.75 10:42: +$525
3000t uS (this is sym move cited above) - entered on uSB (basically "spring"). Spring is great trigger but can result in having to use big StpX , in this case 6pts. Same problem as before - didn't want to give up $1200 if wrong (if used 4cts) so cut position size in half. Should have gone to 1000t chart - good u2RB (2 bar reversal). Exited ahead of dR5 (50% retrace) of swg down which was confluence with uS - take last uSpk from 8:11 to 8:29, project down from HOD = 1990.5 - note that the failure of this to hold on the way down was basis for push down to 1979.5, which is why 1990.5 was also dR5. ES seems to have many algos playing geometric relationships.

7. B 2 ES 1974.75 at 12:48, S 2 ES 1971 12:51: ($375)
3000t uFmW, entered LimE ahead of uKPx associated with uWd (distal edge of big uW from 7:00 to 8:30) but bt into clear trending PA.

8. B 2 ES 1971.75 at 12:54, S 2 ES 1969.5 12:55: ($225)
3000t uS = 1970.75 -> this mkt is going to go up if I can help it! losing discipline in face of clearly trending move down. I missed the 1st entry into this level and then was "hoping" mkt would make ufBO.

9. B 2 ES 1963.5 at 13:12, B 2 ES 1963.25 13:13: ($50)
3000t uS = 1962.5. Now this was actually a very strong uKPx - take the entire uFmW from 7:45 to HOD, project down from 11:15 swg hi. This is SF (strong form) b/c PA preceding this leg down was on increasing bullish strength while this leg down is smaller/weaker than last leg down. Px never broke thru, so why am I not still in this valid trade? b/c just had 2 losses and didn't want to give up more of my gains - if I didn't have these problems I wouldn't need to do this journal.

FWIW, in next post I include 2 charts I think illustrate an interesting PA concept - spk vs channel.

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  #5 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
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I use a lot of measured levels in my trading. The dilemma I always face is to wait for a signal bar and simply use a limit order. My general rule is to wait for a signal bar in the face of any type of counter trend market activity and use limits in the context of ranging market. I made the mistake today of doing the opposite. I was fading ES (took 2 questionable trades for losses then lost nerve to hold the 3rd trade that had real basis) and CL, and made the mistake of using limits on ES. Enclosed are LTF charts, ES 1000tk, CL 89tk. I thought about this in my end of day review. We are always looking for decision points in which there is an imbalance that will heighten emotion and result in predictable activity. Think about the traders who are selling in both these markets. In ES there are a steady stream of bases that form before each push lower. Easy trading - StpX beyond base, no emotion - repeat until stops working. CL is very different. There were no bases after the initial breakdown. Any entry after the BO basically had to be a market order. Traders are selling but have no basis for stop management so they are going to trail stop after every bar (or keep bar beyond initial BO for big risk) - serious emotion. Mkt gets very overextended into the uKPx and there are a stream of stops every few ticks depending on the bar high for an array of time frames. This is great RR b/c either those stops get flushed, or selling continues. That is why we like to see clean tests of KPx levels rather than zig zag stair step. Equally important is that the zig zag relieves pressure, sustainable, while the spk is climactic, generally unsustainable.

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  #6 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
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Broker: IB, TS
Trading: ES/YM
 
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Finished up $679. Reasonable result but missing the core, structural trades, and end up taking too many LTF minor trades. Able to contain risk more, but RR is far better with the HTF trades. I find the LTF trades are typically easier to get into and they always "look/feel" better. The HTF trades require a leap of faith in trade plan, typically entering before any sign of WT strength develops. I realize this is still a big weakness in my 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. S 2 ES 1976.5 at 7:06, B 2 1977.5: ($100)
3000t FmR dfBO Glx SwHi 1981.25
missed proper entry at 1979.75 via dSB, used bad 1min dSB far away - knew it was bad management so no conviction - impulsively bailed out. bad start to day.

2. B 1 CL 56.61 at 8:18, S 1 56.96: +$350
89t FmR, uS held exactly so entered on uBO of minor cluster, StpX 56.42, Tgt top of TR
Trading LTF SU when context was HTF. On 2H chart, Px strongly holding above TL that had been touched many times. I was aware of this but didn't want to risk giving back first profitable trade of day if there was first a big PB. Shortly after exit, Px exploded 400tks

3. B 1 CL 58.29 at 9:04, S 1 58.07: ($220)
1m uFmW, uW5 (50% retrace of Wedge) =58.00. looked like Spring so entered on Stp above uSB

4. B 1 CL 58.03 at 9:06, S 1 58.26: +$230
same SU but used 89t chart - entered after 1st close back above 58.00. should have used this for last trade.

5. B 2 NQ 4113 at 9:25, S 2 4111.75: ($50)
987t uFmW, uW5 = 4113. entered on 144t uSB, but into too much selling pressure. NQ was significantly underperforming ES/YM and I should not have expected this to hold.

6. B 2 BP 1.5630 at 11:07, S 1 1.5651, S 1 1.562: +$81
233t FmR - demand zone 1.5616-27, sharply broken on FOMC but Px reversed as sharply back up, then held - entered on bar close. Exit T1 ahead of prev SwgHi, but mismanaged T2. Set T2 at 1.5691, just below round number 1.5700. But real dKPx was dW5 = 1.5688. tested up to 1.5690! costly mistake.

7. B 2 EC 1.2337 at 11:58, S 1 1.2354, S 1 1.2351: +$388
3000t FmR, uS = 1.2327, used 233t uSB for entry. Exit T1 ahead of 233t SwH, mismanaged T2. Set T2 at 1.2391, just below dW5 = 1.2406. As was also case w/ BP trade, selling pressure is still too strong so reactions are likely to be limited until weak retest to HL occurs.

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  #7 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
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Trading: ES/YM
 
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I find it very helpful to keep track, among SPY/ES, YM/DIA, NQ/QQQ, and TF/IWM, which is the leader (either up in bull mkt or down in bear mkt) and which is the laggard. Enclosed is a 5m percent change chart from tradestation. I reset it to start at the open of the current day. I read about this some time ago and find it incredibly useful. In a rotating mkt, look for the leader to turn up/down thru last SwHi. For example if mkt moving up, look for leader to turn down, then short the laggard, and vice versa in down mkt. Not only is this helpful, but I also find that PBs in the leader hold key price levels very well while the laggard usually pushes well thru any clear KPx.

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  #8 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
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Trading: ES/YM
 
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121814
Finished up about $200 gross, but due to the many trades, net of commissions drops to $20. As poorly as I traded I guess I consider it a victory, or just dumb luck, that I did not lose money. I like to tell myself that the poor trading is OK because it was a strong trend day in my primary market, the indexes, and I typically struggle when the market begins to have consecutive strong trend days. But that is BS. I become overly influenced by strong PA and end up focusing on the last few bars or on LTF PA rather than conducting proper analysis and waiting for my edge. Days like today highlight all the errors in my trading -> not planning trades in advance using my edge, not waiting patiently for that edge, managing CT trades for swings when they should be scalps, managing WT trades for scalps when they should be swings, and not sticking to the plan after entering the trade. I am happy that my approach theoretically works but depressed that my execution and management stinks. Seems so simple...

FWIW, I do find this process of posting trade activity to be helpful as it forces me to collect my thoughts afterward. In the past I conducted end of day review but it largely looked at net results and the broad markets rather than reflecting on each trade.

In addition to the above, today's takeaway is 2-fold. Market conditions provided for a handful of clear trades, not dozens. Rather than staring at the market slowly creeping higher I should have been more proactively identifying edges along the way instead of impulsively reacting. Second, it seems there is always one of the 3 indexes (I treat TF/IWM separately) driving price. For example, today there was a clear dKPx in ES tested exactly to the tick at 7:15, and NQ and YM both sold off as well even though I didn't see clear dKPx in those markets. Likewise, YM held much better through the midday chop, so when it finally broke out of its tight range at 12pm so also did NQ and ES, likewise with no obvious catalyst.

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 1.2292 at 23:15 (last night), S 1 EC 1.2292: ($0)
3000t FmR, left order overnight to buy ahead of confluence of uKPx in area 1.2273-82. Normally I would trade 2 cts and exit 1 at near KPx but I when I leave blind orders overnight (and don't see PA develop on test swing) I typically stick to 1 ct. Decided in my genius to leave it open, only protective Stp, no Limit for the Tgt. I thought I was buying at bottom of TR and so could be big trade. Disgusted that it went 58tks in my favor overnight and came all the way back. What? Oh yeah, it is in a clear bear channel on the daily chart so, yes, I should have expected a contained reaction.

2. S 1 AD 0.8133 at 00:43, B 1 AD 0.8144: ($137)
3000t dFmC (bear channel). Used overly aggressive dKPx for entry, frustrated about the reversal in EC, and let emotions get the best of me. My StpX was at 0.8163 but I simply exited at market b/c price moved slightly differently than I expected (dang traders), rather than following plan.

In ES there were 2 KPx levels I was focused on: 2033.5 (dS) and 2041 (dX6 - 161.8% Fib Extension)
3. S 4 ES 2033 at 6:32, B 2 2031.25, B 2 2034: +$75
4. S 2 ES 2039.5 at 7:16, B 2 2039.75 at 7:16: ($25)
5. S 4 ES 2039.5 at 7:17, B 2 2037, B 2 2034.5: +$700

That is the end of any real planned trading in which I actually conducted proper market analysis and planned trades in advance. These following trades were largely impulsively based on LTF PA inappropriate for the context.
1 NQ trade ($100), 3 YM trades ($200), 10 CL trades ($100), and 3 other ES trades ($150)

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  #9 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
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Trading: ES/YM
 
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Finished up about $150 gross but only $50 net in another day. Still struggling with unplanned trading driven by my expectations rather than planning SUs according to my Trade Plan (TP). My TP approach is to classify the trading environment in 1 of 5 formations. SUs and SU areas are dictated by factors related to those formations, as are stop loss and target levels. This means that, with few exceptions, trades can be planned well in advance of price entering SU areas. In either very choppy/erratic PA or in very strong moves I get off task and focus my attention completely on developing bars rather on planning and preparation. In unplanned trading I am extremely consistent since nothing is planned and all decisions are made on the fly: late entry well beyond SU area, tight stop based on entry price rather than beyond current PA, big target at clearest distant KPx level. Lots of bad trades. Starting Monday my goal will be to have at least 50% of my trades planned according to my trade plan and will note the results in this journal. Each week I will increase the goal by 10%. I have been focusing on profit instead of process and this needs to change.
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. S 4 YM 17735 at 6:31, B 2 17722, B 2 17704: +$440
1m uFmW, SU = dfBO (failed BO, short), according to plan, StpX above HOD, T1 at PrevD last Swg Lo, T2 at uW5 (50% retrace of wedge). All according to plan except T2. Saw the strong dPA and held beyond planned exit ahead of uW5 = 17686, and this cost me about 15tks or $150. Am finding that with my style, the times of greatest uncertainty such as the day session open, while at times confusing, provides best results on average. My theory is that in times of greatest uncertainty or strongest activity the algos take over and tests of technical levels become the primary driver of PA. I have gotten a lot more active w/ CL at the pit although I missed a good opportunity this morning.

2. B 1000 NKE 94.34 at 6:40, S 500 94.66, S 500 94.23: +$105
5M FmR, uS = 94.27, entered LimE ahead of this, StpX 94.15. T1 ahead of Wednesday HOD = 94.76, then tightened StpX after strong bear trend bar. Big dMo so playing for the unlikely sharp reaction up.

Am always at odds with stocks because much lower liquidity (except for mega caps) results in much more noise. Traders I work with who do well with stocks are very disciplined about waiting for specific triggers that allow them to limit risk. I struggle more with my structural approach because I have to use far larger stops due to the noise factor. The tradeoff is that the moves can be huge relative to the necessary risk but this volatility also means that when a stock goes, forget it, pile on, nothing measured about it, only option is to keep hitting buy button. Hard for me to mix trading both futures and stocks b/c they behave so differently.

3. S 4 YM 17758 at 7:06, B 4 17763: ($100)
1m FmR dS = 17759. Entered LimE just ahead of the dKPx. Didn't account of the measurement based on globex trading (see 144tk chart) that resulted in dS = 17771. Need to measure both, enter on proximal, StpX beyond distal, if RR sufficient.

4. S 4 YM 17760 at 7:09, B 4 17764: ($80)
Reentered same trade, but still unaware of the distal KPx.

5. B 1000 BBRY 9.46 at 7:14, S 500 9.48, S 500 9.46: $10
5M uFmW, uW5 = 9.43, entered LimE just above. Tgt 9.90 ahead of PrevD LOD, StpX originally 9.38 but got nervous and tightened when Px came back to test the uKPx for the 2nd time. The stock ran to tgt w/out me even though never hit my planned stop. Still struggle emotionally with the increased volatility/noise of stocks. Moved up and down 3% over a period of minutes, but that was reflected in my trade size.

6. EC B 1 1.2244 at 8:07, S 1 1.2260: +$200
233tk dFmW (weak form WF), uS = 1.2240. StpX 1.2234, Tgt ahead of dW5 = 1.2263. lucky to get out. better trade was to short ahead of dW5, or SAR, for possible 3rd larger push down (HTF dFmW).

7. YM B 4 17746 at 8:18, S 2 17743, S 2 17728: ($210)
144tk, impulse trade, "expected" big move up after uW5 finally held.

8. ES S 4 2061.5 at 9:04, B 4 2062.5: ($200)
1m dFmC, entered dBOp of PrevD HOD. reasonable trade, simply mismanaged Tgt. Originally planned to scalp out at 2.5 pts, 2059, just ahead of uTL = 2057.50, since this was dFmC (bear channel), but then impulsively decided to hold entire position for swing trade. Makes sense right? Every swing for last 2 hours reversed sharply after 2-3 points so why not expect THIS swing to be completely different. Turned $500 winner into $200 loser.

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  #10 (permalink)
hollywood
 
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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.

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Newport Beach, CA
 
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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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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

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Newport Beach, CA
 
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.




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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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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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

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  #19 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TS
Broker: IB, TS
Trading: ES/YM
 
Posts: 43 since Jun 2010
Thanks: 4 given, 43 received

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.

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  #20 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TS
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Trading: ES/YM
 
Posts: 43 since Jun 2010
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FWIW, here is Trademanager from TS today w/ my trades, just to keep me honest

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  #21 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
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Trading: ES/YM
 
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Down about $2100 net. My demons come out when market transitions to strong trend. There were 3 core mistakes that turned a favorable start (I had unrealized gains in EC and CL of over $1K early on) into melt down. 1. Having had a decent week last week, especially trading around the open in the indexes and crude, I decided to treat the Sunday open as if it were the active pit open and throw caution to the wind, losing $750 taking trades I had no business taking. 2. Sunday I did my homework and had all my alerts set. As equity mkt starts selling off, alerts ring in 5 different markets so I in haste I end up taking short cuts in my trade analysis routine. 3. Vicious circle - the time consuming part of my process is analyzing directional strength so that I am taking trades in the direction of strength, counter to the direction of weakness, the critical filter to keep me from fading strong T mkts and losing a bunch of dough. Very disappointing but I am going to shake it off. My TP is sound and if I had followed it then today could have been very good. If only I could have followed my TP...

1. B 4 YM 17698 at 15:07 (Sunday), S 4 17679: ($397)
Not per plan. Entire trade based on 1m timeframe. Sunday open trading should be reserved for HTF structural opportunities, and LTF PA is reserved solely for entry into TTF/HTF SU. LTF PA to be used only in midst of strong trend mkt or in extreme volatility. Hopefully won't do that again.

2. B 1 CL 52.09 at 17:48 (Sunday), S 1 51.75: ($344)
Same thing - not per plan. Trade based on 89 tk timeframe. Treating the Sunday open as if it were the active pit open. Recent wins in CL got me trading very sloppy. Down $750 and wasn't even Monday yet.

3-5. Took 3 more sloppy LTF CL trades Sunday afternoon: ($0)
2 small losses offset by 1 decent win. pissed off my wife trading all Sunday afternoon.

6. B 1 CL 50.74 at 6:02, S 1 50.44: ($304)
This trade started today's emotional collapse and sloppy decisions. This was a good trade, per plan, had 0.35 or $350 gain as Px approached my Tgt of 51.09. But I needed to make up for Sunday losses so I moved Tgt and convinced myself this would be the big turn in crude.

7. B 2 EC 1.1929 at 6:08, marked at close 1.1939: $241

8. B 4 YM 17662 at 6:33, S 4 17654: ($177)
Per plan, 1m ufBO of PrevD Low, but failed BO failed, became dBOp, and this was the trade of the day (I missed). Accg to my plan, when fBO fails, and BO PB holds at fKPx, I am supposed to take that trade automatically unless into SR.

9. B 2 ES 2026.5 at 7:00, S 2 2021.25: ($534)
27000tk, confluence of uKPx including 50% retrace (uW5). HTF trade so 1/2 size. Structurally reasonable, but in the face of 3 very strong dTBs so should have scalped out and waited for 2nd entry if SloMo. Had 5pt gain but decided to hold - of course - need to make back bigger loss!

10. B 2 ES 2025 at 7:38, S 2 2021.25: ($375)
same trade, entered on 5m Trigger. same outcome but this time immediate loss so should have reentered short at 2025 on dBOp. So obvious when emotions are calm.

11. B 2 CL 50.56 at 8:08, S 2 50.35: ($429)
Going well so doubled size - smart. impulse trade, no basis for SU. entered using LTF SB.

12. B 1 CL 50.34 at 8:45, S 1 50.17: ($170)
Impulse trade, Px held at 49.95 so wanted to get long for possible buying pressure, but no valid SU. This area could have been traded if I had simply waited for a valid SU.

13. B 2 ES 2016.5 at 10:08, S 2 2012.25: ($425)
Impulse trade, no valid SU.

14. YM B 4 17430 at 10:18, S 2 17454, S 2 17451: +$433
Actually a valid SU, although still no evidence of buying pressure so risky.

15. ES B 4 2014.5 at 12:27, S 4 2017: +$483
Was watching 2014.5 = September Swg Hi but trade was based on 5m PA. questionable trade.

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  #22 (permalink)
Michigan, Jackson
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT and TS
Broker: NT Continuum
Trading: ES, CL
 
Posts: 857 since Jul 2009
Thanks: 389 given, 551 received

@ribtrader - So you are a position trader that enters the market at key levels? Do you test the market with small risk trades at those key levels or fade the entry? If you lose X amount of dollars per your daily draw down, then do you begin reducing the number of contracts traded? Perhaps these questions are more rhetorical in nature given what I have read. Thank you for sharing. Without question, you are to be applauded for your courageous sharing here. Is there a 'piece to the puzzle' of your trade plan that if it were found, may facilitate better entries? If so, what might that be? Or do you see your trade plan as sufficient to profitably trade but strive to manage the necessary discipline to trade it?

The read is enjoyable but painful for you, at times, I am sure.

Ken (COTtrader)

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  #23 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
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Trading: ES/YM
 
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Down about ($600) net. Still struggling to manage trading in substantially higher volatility. This has me staring at developing bars rather than conducting market analysis and planning trades. Contrast this to my trading last week. I was relatively inactive so stayed out of any of the LTF chaos, mapped out choice trades, and was content taking no trade should PA not develop appropriately. This week I find myself chasing every swing, jumping from market to market, time frame to time frame. Price is moving to fast to allow this. As a result I am cutting corners on the analysis, missing obvious tells that I am trading counter to strength. The increased volatility should lead to the complete opposite. Only a handful of qualified trades are necessary to generate solid gains, and sloppy trading is punished severely.

PA in this level of volatility is actually quite good as you would expect given heightened emotions surrounding bad trades (see ES below). The real challenge for me is staying mentally flexible at each decision point. The market seems to have a far easier time pushing through normally strong KPx levels. When price enters SU area I have to be on guard for either a short or long trade, perhaps entering one way and quickly reversing. Lately I had been able to get away with BOs against me coming back to the BO pt to allow near breakeven exits and small losses. That is what got me hurt today - BOs running and not coming back - ouch. Very humbling, reminding me how mentally challenging this profession is.

I took 26 trades (if I take more than 8 then I know it is a bad day) so no need to detail them, but here is breakdown of PnL by market
CL 7 trades net $260
ES 12 trades net ($1,531), due to 3 outsized losses - why stick to stops if you know what the market is going to do...
YM 2 trades net $598
EC 2 trades net $124
GC 1 trade net ($54)

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  #24 (permalink)
Michigan, Jackson
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Broker: NT Continuum
Trading: ES, CL
 
Posts: 857 since Jul 2009
Thanks: 389 given, 551 received

$ribtrader with the YM being your biggest winner today given the volatility, and so strongly correlated to the ES, it is surprising that you held onto losing ES trades even when you may have already closed out a YM trade.

Just an observation. I set stops just behind areas of S/R drawn by a trendline or outsized delta by price.

It sounds as if your $800 drawdown the other day that came back to make money may have been an unconscious expectation that this one would win, too. For myself the ES is far too efficient for me trade and hold at the risk of the trade returning to my entry and stopping me out.

Ken

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  #25 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
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COTtrader View Post
$ribtrader with the YM being your biggest winner today given the volatility, and so strongly correlated to the ES, it is surprising that you held onto losing ES trades even when you may have already closed out a YM trade.

Just an observation. I set stops just behind areas of S/R drawn by a trendline or outsized delta by price.

It sounds as if your $800 drawdown the other day that came back to make money may have been an unconscious expectation that this one would win, too. For myself the ES is far too efficient for me trade and hold at the risk of the trade returning to my entry and stopping me out.

Ken

Ken,
Thanks for the feedback. Much appreciated! I think you are right about misguided unconscious expectations. Resulted in very sloppy risk mgt given the change in the market. The big driver of my late day trading was strong conviction that a temporary bottom was in place. I had misguided expectations about the strength of the rally (also due to random memory) and mismanaged trades in ES. The close was holding at an important level which led to the trades in YM that I managed better.
Rich

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  #26 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
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Up $407 net. I am not very happy about the results b/c the market transitioned to PA that is right up my alley and I traded overly cautious due to getting spanked the last few days. That really hit me emotionally - still recovering. Made me realize how much I can deviate from my trade plan, how much discretion I am applying to trade decisions (discretion as to which trades I expect to be winners and losers - kiss of death), and how much tighter my decision making process needs to be. Today I hesitated taking many valid (per my TP) trades, missing the bulk of the moves, especially in CL and EC. The old adage is very true - trade what you see now and read PA relative to the current structure. I was looking for confirmation when none was needed. I took only 5 trades, 3 in ES for roughly +$175 net and 2 in CL for roughly +$230 net. I will resume detailing the trades tomorrow. Running out of time today.

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Michigan, Jackson
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Trading: ES, CL
 
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@rlbtrader - Your journaling is very beneficial to myself and I would imagine anyone else who chooses to read it. I see myself in your comments. I am little aware of my own trade psychology but reading your comments are very helpful to me.

Ken

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  #28 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
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Up $564 Net of fees. These strong trend days in the indexes should be easy to trade - PA is free from recent range, no major SR to reverse price - but I find myself too focused on looking for areas for CT (counter trend) SUs and missing the simple PBs. I am torn between completely ignoring strong trending markets - they cause me lots of anxiety and require ongoing focus - but the swings can be huge. I spent most of the day focusing on (staring at) the indexes and missed quite good SUs in CL and GC. One issue I notice for me with the strong trending markets is the heightened feeling of uncertainty. In more swinging or ranging markets the KPx levels are far more clear so my SU area and trade plan can be determined well in advance. Today, early on in the indexes the PA was different. When it is that tight I believe the entries are all BO PBs (BOp) of failed KPx levels, which should be easier for me to trade since that type of analysis is my core process. I map out the market with KPx levels, typically measured move levels or preceding swings. I then look at relative strength of WT and CT swgs (concept I call relative directional strength, RDS), and anticipate the test swg to slightly penetrate, slightly miss, or come close to the KPx level. In markets like today, ultra strong RDS, impulses BO thru the KPx (you can see strong WT TBs originating at the KPx levels on YM chart), and the entry is on the reaction back to the failed KPx. Always easy in hindsight.

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 1.1776 at 4:29, S 1 1.1804: +$346
3000tk, per plan entry and exit

2. B 4 YM 17696 at 6:36, S 2 17711, S 2 17731: +$483
1m, day session chart, per plan entry, exit

3. S 4 ES 2043.25 at 6:50, B 5 2044.25: ($217)
3000tk, not per plan - LTF CT - and I knew it was invalid trade at the time

4. S 4 ES 2046.25 at 7:37, B 4 2047.25: ($217)
same thing - covering short when I should be buying long on uBOp of last failed trade

5. S 4 YM 17822 at 11:32, B 2 17830, B 2 17829 ($167)
entry using 1m chart but based on dKPx from 15m, entry per plan but exited early

6. S 4 YM 17828 at 11:50, B 2 17827, B 2 17822 +$53
entry using 1m chart but based on dKPx from 15m, entry per plan, sloppy exit

7. S 4 YM 17826 at 12:56, B 4 17811 +$283
Final try - frustrated so exited at 2:15 PM close, rather than holding for swg as planned

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  #29 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
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Roughly flat (up $26) net of commissions and fees. Trading was reasonable with the exception of 2 badly mismanaged trades. The first was the AD trade. I rushed to plan this ahead of the employment report and didn't carefully consider the target which I had beyond the obvious TL of the channel (missed by 5 tks). The other disaster was a late day trade in YM. For some reason I became convinced that the early selloff was functioning to create a big TR, and given it was a Friday the mkt would end up retracing much of it. I was also convinced a clear bullish (weak) channel had developed. I expected mkt to retrace possibly down to 17650 area so took small position at aggressive price and added lower. It was late, I was tired, and I basically had no concrete plan for exiting in the event of a strong selloff. This was costly and killed the day. On the bright side I came to terms with a psychological issue, ala Mark Douglas, that has been plaguing my trading forever and will try to take steps to mitigate this next week.

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. S 1 AD 0.8124 at 5:35, B 1 0.8137: ($167)
3000t, entry per plan, had Tgt beyond uTL, 40tk gain turned into 13tk loss, bad!

2. S 1 ES 2061.25 at 5:37, B 1 2051.25: +$496
2H, entry per plan, exit not per plan - planned to exit ahead of next Swg Low = 2030.5, but impulsively exited as chop developed after day session open

3. S 1 AD 0.8134 at 6:32, B 1 0.8139: ($67)
3000t, entry/exit not per plan (emotionally driven from earlier trade)

3. B 1 CL 48.07 at 7:57, S 1 47.87: ($204)
1m, entry per plan, exit per plan

4. S 1 CL 47.68 at 8:42, B 1 47.55: +$126

5. B 4 YM 17672 at 10:09, S 2 17682, S 2 17688: +$243
987t, per plan entry and exit

6. B 2 YM 17690 at 12:33 , S 2 17704: +$132
987t, 1m, day session chart, per plan entry, exit

3. B 1 YM 17695 at 12:35, B 1 YM 17666 at 12:57, B 1 YM 17649 at 13:03
S 1 17640, holding 2 17633 (closing price): ($533)
987t, entry/exit not per plan.

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  #30 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
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This likely will seem obvious to anyone who has read Mark Douglas or Denise Shull or any other mainstream trading psychologist who studies the influence our subconscious has on trading decisions. Something really hit home for me on Friday for some reason. I noted my thoughts leading up to a handful of questionable trades I took (I noted the thoughts b/c I knew they were questionable when I took them) and after the close I reflected on them. Basically I found that whenever I shortchanged my process (either fast moving market or seeing SU when already in SU area, about to trigger), confirming, say, only 3 out of 5 conditions necessary in my TP, my subconscious took over. What then dominated my decision making process was some "similar" pattern in my memory and the pattern's outcome. First, we know it is the subtleties of PA that tip us off as to the sentiment bias in any pattern, not the general pattern condition, thus the importance of our exhaustive process to identify these (like solving a challenging sudoku puzzle). Second, at least for me, the patterns that remain strongest in my memory are the patterns that had the low probability or unexpected outcome, likely the result of some new info coming into the market (econ report or news event), resulting in a major market shift (and likely a big loss if I did not manage the trade properly). I have read "trading in the zone" at least a dozen times over the years but this is the first time I really came to realize how my subconscious will dominate my decision making process if I am conflicted or unprepared. This has been in my head the entire weekend so I am hoping, along the lines of Shull's work, that I can recognize the conflict my subconscious is likely creating when I have doubts about taking a trade that meets my TP criteria.

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Newport Beach, CA
 
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Down $200 net. Looking at too many markets. My plan says to actively trade only the indexes and swing trade other markets at major levels. I have made an exception with CL around the open as I have found the PA to be excellent. I run into trouble typically when I take a bad trade and either mismanage the exit (let it go to far against me) or start looking for revenge trade at LTF. Then I get distracted from my core trading and miss good SUs, as happened numerous times today. AD was the problem last night and CD was the problem today.

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. Covered YM cts held from Friday: $322 (not enough to fully cover YM loss on Friday)
2. S 1 AD 0.8189 at 17:18 (Sunday), B 1 0.8210: ($267)
3000t test of dKPx, SU Area 0.8190-8209. Reasonable trade, per plan, but didn't give enough room. too bad, would have been great trade.
3. B 1 JY 0.8388 at 2:04 (overnight order) S 1 0.8452: +$796
3000t, entry per plan, exit per plan. Need to learn to stick to ranging markets like this when leaving overnight orders and stop fading trending markets as I did with CD today.

3. B 1 CD 0.8372 at 7:31, B 1 CD 0.8358 at 11:07: ($592) marked at close
2H, original entry per plan but fell down the slippery slope of not exiting on break down. Looking at 5m chart, this was a crystal clear bear trend. Bulls hadn't been able to lift mkt more than 10 tks since prev day. This was a case of being distracted with other markets at time of entry, missing optimal exit, then trying to fight back. Back to the drawing board.
4. 3 soybean trades after 9:00AM agricultural report: net ($63)
3000t, looked to get short after strong close held thru 50% retrace, but volatility was too much for me (dropped 3% in 20 seconds) and I mismanaged position. I have no business trading something like this unless I have a good level and good entry, and in this case my entries were late.
5. CL B 2 46.48 at 10:08, S 2 46.29: ($380)
987t, entry per plan, exit per plan. I get into trouble with CL when I start trying to trade the minor wiggles. CL can be terrific if I either wait patiently for the major levels or trade the opening tests.

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  #32 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TS
Broker: IB, TS
Trading: ES/YM
 
Posts: 43 since Jun 2010
Thanks: 4 given, 43 received

Up $900 net. The pickup in volatility mid day resulted in very sloppy trading. A big mistake I have been making almost every day is fully understanding just how far swings can extend in the current environment before turning, even within ranges. Markets seem far more prone to indiscriminate flushes and transition to trending PA. I need to wait for evidence of slowing into the SU area AND wait for a reasonable signal bar or trigger to develop on the TTF, not LTF.

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. Exited 2 CD cts from prev day, marked at prev close 0.8339
S 1 CD 0.8358, S 1 CD 0.8352: +$367
Recouped most of unrealized loss - lucky
2. B 1 ES 2024 at 16:37 (Monday), S 1 ES 2029: +246
30m, entry/exit per plan
3. B 2 EC 1.1770 at 6:57, S 1 1.1778, S 1 1.1799: +$492
987t, Entry/exit per plan
4. B 2 YM 17594 at 10:38, S 2 17581: ($139)
987t, Entry per plan, exit per plan - tick charts can be good for a look inside the real PA that the algos are trading, but this is a great example of how misleading they can be in fast markets. I made the mistake of focusing solely on this chart for the trade and read the PA down to be comparable to the PA up, and so I discounted the selling pressure. This would have been evident on a simple 5 minute chart.
5. B 2 YM 17536 at 10:51, S 2 17449: ($879)
987t, ridiculous, stupid trade. I failed to appreciate that the market was in complete melt down mode and that some evidence of buying pressure was necessary before risking capital. The big mistake here was that I planned this trade well in advance, buying at the base of the TR but not properly evaluating the testing PA. Absent this trade, the day would have been quite good. The disappointing thing is that I have made this mistake almost every day in some market, not appreciating that ranges can easily be broken when volatility is substantially higher.
6. B 2 YM 17468 at 11:26, S 2 17482: +$140
987t, late entry, exited too soon. Very shaken up about the last trade, emotions are driving decisions at this point - bad
7. B 2 YM 17476 at 12:29, S 2 17523: +$522
987t, entry per plan, exit per plan - this is the first YM trade that I managed with a clear head
8. B 2 YM 17515 at 12:52, S 2 17532: +$162
233t, entry per plan, exit mismanaged. Was expecting possible melt up but buying pressure clearly slowed on test up to last major swg hi. Gave up 25tks, sloppy

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  #33 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TS
Broker: IB, TS
Trading: ES/YM
 
Posts: 43 since Jun 2010
Thanks: 4 given, 43 received

Up $1105 net. Absolute result is good but because of the early wins I traded far too conservatively and missed many very clean opportunities, particularly in ES. I wasn't going allow myself to take another reckless trade, or manage a trade recklessly, the way I have each of the last several days, erasing a sizable amount of gains.

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 CD 0.8311 at 23:00 (last night), S 1 0.8351: $496
3000t, entry/exit per plan.
2. B 4 ES 1997 at 6:50, S 2 1999, S 2 1997: $183
3000t, entry per plan, bad exit. tightened Stp to breakeven too soon. Per plan, supposed to keep Stp beyond SwHL base of last impulse swg (1994.25) until a stronger impulse develops that extends further.
3. S 1 CL 46.17 at 7:30, B 1 45.74: $430
144t, entry/exit per plan. quick scalp after petroleum report.

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  #34 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TS
Broker: IB, TS
Trading: ES/YM
 
Posts: 43 since Jun 2010
Thanks: 4 given, 43 received

For last 2 days: down $213 net. Have been trying to actively trade stocks since earnings season is kicking into gear, but I find it only creates confusion. Looking at too many markets results in trading none well, or missing many opportunities (as has been the case with me). I ended up trading no stocks and taking only a handful of trades in ES and CL, none of which amounted to more than a scalp since I missed the major turns. Lack of focus leads to lack of conviction, and lack of conviction leads to missing the larger moves. I am comfortable trading only a few markets at a time, and to include stocks means to focus on a single stock. The best opportunities seem to occur at the open (or pit session for futures). CL and ES work well b/c 30 min apart. If I look at both stocks and ES I will miss both. I think the solution is to swing trade stocks, looking for larger structural opportunities after some event catalyst, such as favorable earnings/guidance, and enter either on the initial PB if becomes overextended gap, or wait for the next PB (BO PB).

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  #35 (permalink)
Kalispell montana
 
 
Posts: 158 since Jan 2015
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rlbtrader View Post
Finished up $679. Reasonable result but missing the core, structural trades, and end up taking too many LTF minor trades. Able to contain risk more, but RR is far better with the HTF trades. I find the LTF trades are typically easier to get into and they always "look/feel" better. The HTF trades require a leap of faith in trade plan, typically entering before any sign of WT strength develops. I realize this is still a big weakness in my trading.

Like the details in your post. However, what does LTF and HTF stand for?

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  #36 (permalink)
Philly, Pa
 
Experience: Master
Platform: NinjaTrader
Trading: ES, ZB
 
tigertrader's Avatar
 
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rlbtrader View Post
Down $200 net. Looking at too many markets. My plan says to actively trade only the indexes and swing trade other markets at major levels. I have made an exception with CL around the open as I have found the PA to be excellent. I run into trouble typically when I take a bad trade and either mismanage the exit (let it go to far against me) or start looking for revenge trade at LTF. Then I get distracted from my core trading and miss good SUs, as happened numerous times today. AD was the problem last night and CD was the problem today.

the problem is you use too many abbreviations and acronyms. perhaps, a trip to javier's or maestro's to look at some DD's would help clear your head and improve your trading.

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  #37 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TS
Broker: IB, TS
Trading: ES/YM
 
Posts: 43 since Jun 2010
Thanks: 4 given, 43 received

thanks for the feedback. I will try to avoid abbreviations. LTF and HTF are lower time frame, higher time frame.

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  #38 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TS
Broker: IB, TS
Trading: ES/YM
 
Posts: 43 since Jun 2010
Thanks: 4 given, 43 received

Up $846 net. Looking at too many markets. Missed the big move in EC - obviously should have been focusing on that after ECB. Took big losses fading strong moves in ES and AD but recovered much of the loss thru subsequent trades. I am not sufficiently prepared with game plan. Lots of markets are trending and I need to be more focused on the higher time frame moves.

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 2 YM 17524 at 5:54, S 2 17549: +$242
987tk, entry per plan, exited too soon -> key price was 17599, should have exited 17584

2. S 2 CL 46.62 at 8:01, B 2 46.52: +$191
1m, entry per plan, exited too soon - sold 2cts by mistake, should have been 1, so exited

3. S 1 CL 46.58 at 8:03, B 1 46.33: +$246
1m, entry/exit per plan

4. S 4 ES 2045.5 at 11:18, B 4 2048: ($517)
3000t, entry/exit per plan, but poor selection

5. B 4 ES 2047 at 11:30, B 4 2048: +$483
3000t, entry not per plan

6. B 1 AD 0.8019 at 12:32, S 0.7979: ($504)
3000tk, entry not per plan

7. S 2 ES 2056 at 13:01, B 2 2053: +$292
3000tk, entry/exit per plan

8. B 1 AD 0.7979 at 13:36, S 1 0.8008: +$358
3000tk, entry/exit per plan

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  #39 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TS
Broker: IB, TS
Trading: ES/YM
 
Posts: 43 since Jun 2010
Thanks: 4 given, 43 received

For last 2 days Up $1326 net. Trading was focused on ES, CL, and NQ. CL was the net loser - 10 trades and only 1 winner, but most of the trades were scratches. That, alone, tells me there were a bunch of reactive lower time frame trades taken, rather than planned structural opportunities. This happens when I miss the correct trade and start focusing of individual bars - lose context. Strongly trending markets are a big source of these bad trades. My best trade was long ES after the Sunday open. As I look at my results over a long period, it is clear my best trades come from times of greatest indecision - after the open (or pit open), after an event, when emotions in the market result in more predictable price action. In this light I have been spending more time developing a stock trading plan around events. Strong moves following some type of catalyst seem to have 2-3 subsequent days of relatively predictable price action. In previous posts I have noted that bad results generally come from spreading my focus too thin and I realize the stock effort has me swimming against the current. In theory, I am finding the stock game to be much more about planning outside of market hours than watching every price tick, so I am hoping to become more efficient in planning.

I have also noticed that I am consistently exiting well ahead of my planned target levels due to stalling price action. In 1 of 10 trades this actually saves the trade, but in the other 9 this is costing me far more in opportunity cost. I listened to a webinar the other day that touched on performance measuring. The trader said he establishes a neutral profit level by taking his preplanned entry and exit and applying 1/2 his max size. His point was that managing size and exits is far more important to performance than simply getting the direction right. This is a big problem for me. I tend to size every trade the same, regardless of the risk, and I rarely add on, mainly because I am too quick to take profit.

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 2 ES 2030.25 at 15:00 (Sunday), S 2 2037: +$667
3000tk, entry per plan, exited too soon -> key price was 2048.25, should have exited 2046.25

2. B 1 CL 44.84 at 15:06, S 1 44.89: +$46
987t, entry against too much strength - no evidence of bearish weakness - lucky to exit

3. B 1 CL 44.74 at 15:07, S 1 44.44: ($304)
987t, same trade

4. B 1 CL 44.39 at 15:57, S 1 44.83: $436
987t, lucky - no basis for trade other than finally seeing some slowing

trades 5-12: CL trades - all small losses: ($450)
bad trades around pit open and pit close Monday, all based on lower time frame price action - not per plan

trades 13-22: ES trades Tuesday morning: +$148
2 good long trades w/in early chop, 5 losing long trades against breakdown, 1 good short trade w/in breakdown, then 1 good long trade at the turn, but exited way too soon.

23. B 2 NQ 4165.75 at 8:30, S 2 4163: ($119)
987t, entry/exit per plan

24. B 2 NQ 4164.75 at 9:00, S 2 4179: +$562
987t, entry/exit per plan

25. B 2 NQ 4160.25 at 12:53, S 2 4169: +$342
987t, entry/exit per plan

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  #40 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TS
Broker: IB, TS
Trading: ES/YM
 
Posts: 43 since Jun 2010
Thanks: 4 given, 43 received

Up $876 net. Results were reasonable but fewer than half of my trades were executed and managed according to plan, which is disappointing. Fortunately the bad trades were fairly contained and did not punish me too badly. Event days like today tend to provide good conditions for my structural style of 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 CL 45.11 at 6:03, S 1 45.06: ($54)
1min, pit session chart, entry per plan, early exit, second guessed SU

2. B 1 CL 45.14 at 6:06, S 1 45.10: ($44)
same thing - trying to decipher clues out of noise - dumb

3. S 2 ES 2036.75 at 6:31, B 2 2032.75: +$392
1min, day session chart, entry/exit per plan

4. B 1 CL 45.09 at 7:36, S 1 45.39: +$296
1min, day session chart, entry/exit per plan

5. B 2 ES 2025.5 at 7:39, S 2 2022.5: ($309)
3000tk, entry not per plan - no evidence of slowing Mo into SU area - was distracted looking at CL and did not properly evaluate

6-10 four more long ES trades entered between 7:43 and 7:58, at prices between 2022.75 and 2019.5. Came apart fading strength before any evidence of slowing. For some reason became overly convicted on long ES trade - after 3 bad entries lost confidence to hold the 4th trade that would reached target. Then failed to take the long entry after buying pressure actually came into the market. ($184)

11. B 1 CL 44.13 at 11:32, S 1 44.44: +$306
3000t, entry/exit per plan

12. B 1 YM 17286 at 11:32, S 1 17310: +$116
3000t, entry/exit mismanaged - planned entry was to be at 17254 but "fear of missing out" popped up and I entered based on a very minor lower time frame trigger. As a result I lost conviction to hold for planned target at 17334

13. B 1 ES 2010.75 at 11:33, S 1 2018: +$358
9000t, entry/exit per plan - embarrassed to admit that this trade played out exactly as planned because I simply forgot about it while focusing on the simultaneous YM trade, and the entry limit and exit limit executed automatically. Goes to show how important it is to stick to the plan. I listened to a webinar the other day and the speaker talked about how his biggest mistakes as a developing trader had to do with making changes to his trade plan after entry based on subsequent price action, almost always resulting in reduced gain or increased loss. He said it took him years before he finally accepted that price action between his entry and target or stop was almost always random/chop, with no predictive value.

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  #41 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TS
Broker: IB, TS
Trading: ES/YM
 
Posts: 43 since Jun 2010
Thanks: 4 given, 43 received

Up $996 net. I had a number of solid, planned trades but unfortunately I took just as many emotionally driven trades with no basis. Trying to scalp and swing creates real issues. When I am holding a trade for a swing I find myself looking at lower time frame charts which often show adverse price action and create anxiety. When I am scalping I end up focusing on higher time frame levels and compromising the integrity of my scalp entries. This happened in CL. Yesterday CL reacted at an important level after FOMC. Today after the pit open, prices initially held, and I became convinced that a major bullish swing could be underway. As a result I took 8 long trades without any real basis. I was so determined not to miss the big move that I focused on mediocre 1 minute setups, but the lack of follow thru clearly indicated the market wasn't ready to run. Fortunately I kept the losses small but it still took about $400 off the day. I finally caught part of the turn and was able to get that back, but my entry and exit were not great. A good trade in GC overnight and YM at the turn made for a decent day. If only I could: 1) avoid taking a position without a setup that meets my trade plan requirements, and 2) stick to my planned exit levels, both stop and target!

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 GC 1265.9 at 3:41, S 1 1272.8: $686
3000 tk, entry/exit per plan (both sides executed overnight) - highlights something I am finally starting to recognize: measured move levels (not at major swg hi or lo) in context of counter to steady state trending is much more likely to drive profit taking (so still result in a reasonable reaction) than it is to drive strong counter trend order flow, setting up much more favorable entry after the pull back in the direction of the trend. Contrast this to a ranging market where the measured move levels drive real counter trend order flow.

Trades 2-6: see 1m chart - series of long entries in upper range, between 6:04 and 7:34, with 1 small win, 2 full stops, and 3 scratches: ($300)

Trades 7-11: see 1m chart - series of long entries in lower range, between 7:54 and 10:30, with 5 scratches: ($100)

12. B 2 YM 17111 at 8:19, S 2 17141: $292
The trigger for this was based on 144tk chart, but the basis for the trade was the successful test of the daily key price level of 17051. The was low of the day prior to December low and would have served as the entry level for the shorts who thought they had a successful trade (next day lower close) to then get absolutely crushed. That level represents their break even exit for all to see and anticipate buying pressure. Arguably it represents an area of very strong potential demand.

13. B 1 CL 44.14 at 11:09, S 1 44.54: $396
1m, entry per plan, exit per plan. Finally caught the trade I was waiting for. My long bias was based on yesterday's successful test of the 44.10 measured move level. I took this trade on the pull back from the breakout that held (close enough). There was a far better long setup that I hesitated to take and then missed that triggered at 43.85 at 9:34. That setup wouldn't have had the support of the 45.10 level but it was a valid setup in my trade plan.

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  #42 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TS
Broker: IB, TS
Trading: ES/YM
 
Posts: 43 since Jun 2010
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This is something I spent some time reviewing after today's close I wanted to share. I got chopped up trading CL today in the range from 8:00 to 10:00 PST before catching a decent move. One of my strategies is to monitor consolidation areas that form as a result of breaking up and the breaking down around some important price level (trapping breakout traders in both directions, possibly the cause of ranging markets). When the level eventually holds I enter on the next breakout beyond the near swing point.
Someone highlighted that in these mid range areas there is typically some level that precedes a strong swing that often then defines the range of subsequent trading range. We can look at the base of that strong swing as representing an optimal entry point, or the "smart trader" entry point. Price should not exceed this area go if there is going to be a move in the direction of that earlier strength. On the enclosed chart there are 2 obvious areas of strong demand that I have circled, one from late yesterday and one from around 8:10 pst today. We can see what happens when a strong level breaks - the strong break down at 7:30. We can also see what happens when the level holds - the strong break up after 10:00. There are 2 takeaways. First, remain flexible - when the first demand area failed it created a great short setup that I missed because i was so focused on the long side. Second, if I had simply held my stop beyond the 2nd demand area I would have avoided taking 5 scratches and would have had a far better entry price for the eventual move. Whether I would have patiently sat through the minor springs is another question.

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  #43 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TS
Broker: IB, TS
Trading: ES/YM
 
Posts: 43 since Jun 2010
Thanks: 4 given, 43 received

Up $569 net. Forgot to post on Friday. Today (Monday) no trading - refining my Trade Plan and reviewing January trading. My kids had the day off from school Friday and I hadn't planned to trade then either, and as a result I hadn't prepared. I was fortunate to have finished the day without a big loss, let alone positive. Once again the biggest gain came from a trade I planned and left in the system with limit orders, both entry and exit executed in my absence. Goes to show my value added is a lot less in the area of active management. I should stick more to planning structural trades that staring at every developing bar.

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 44.49 at 6:03, S 1 44.37: ($124)
1m, marginal setup shorting at top of trading range
2. B 1 CL 44.37 at 6:08, S 1 44.51: +$136
1m, Entry/Exit per plan - entered near base of strong buying pressure
Both of these trades were relatively marginal because there is no obvious formation (that I can see) on the 1 minute pit session chart. Looking at the 3000 tk globex chart there is a much clearer formation. By 8:30 the transition to strong bullish order flow is clear, but I missed it completely.
3. B 1 S (soybean) 963.75 at 6:35, S 1 961.25: ($129)
1m (RTH), not valid Entry/Exit - entered on stall above key price after spike down, but into clear bearish strength that completely reversed the prior day's bullish leg
4. B 1 S 962.5 at 6:40, S 1 961.25: ($67)
same trade, same mistake
5. S 1 S 961.25 at 6:41, B 1 958.75: +$121
5m, Entry/Exit per plan - entered after price held and bar closed below the 963.25 key price
6. B 1 S 959.5 at 6:44, S 1 958: ($79)
5m, Entry/Exit not per plan -
7. S 1 S 959.25 at 6:47, B 1 959: ($42)
987t, Entry/Exit not per plan - after bar closed with big bottom tail, entered on Stop above the 958 key price level, but lack of conviction shook me out
8. B 2 S 959.25 at 6:47, S 2 961.25: +$192
987t, Entry/Exit not per plan - after exiting, no further selling came in so reentered in larger size, stop held beyond LOD. I thought/hoped this might move sharply higher, but after stalled at the base of the strong leg down I exited at market.
9. B 2 S 960.5 at 6:51, S 1 963, S 1 959.75: +$79
same trade, last try - no further selling came in so tried again - reached 1st Tgt then tightened stop on 2nd ct - this is sloppy trading with no discernible edge - quit while I am slightly ahead
10. B 2 NQ 4172 at 7:12, S 1 4175, S 1 4179: +$192
987t, Entry/Exit per plan
11. B 2 YM 17148 at 12:21, S 2 17178: +$292 +
987t, entry/exit via limit orders left in the system, executed while I was out

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  #44 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TS
Broker: IB, TS
Trading: ES/YM
 
Posts: 43 since Jun 2010
Thanks: 4 given, 43 received

Combined Thursday and Friday down ($1,267). No trading Mon-Wed, refining trade plan, reviewing Jan results. Should have stayed out Thurs/Fri as well. I was still doing research and writing. The trades aren't worth going detailing but in general: Took 23 trades including 5 in YM between 12:30PM and 12:40PM on Feb 5 that had a combined loss of about $450, and 6 in ES between 12:02PM and 12:32PM on Feb 6 that had a combined loss of about $400. I also completely forgot about a buy order for US I left in the system before the jobs report, and didn't realize it had gone off until it had already hit my stop, $250 loss. The YM trades were straightforward: they were all shorts based on 1 minute reversal formations in a strong bull market. The ES trades were crazy - stop and reverse, repeat. These days happen when I am not going through my process, lose contextual awareness, and then jump into the market because something catches my eye. Serves me right for taking this serious business too lightly.

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  #45 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TS
Broker: IB, TS
Trading: ES/YM
 
Posts: 43 since Jun 2010
Thanks: 4 given, 43 received

Up $911 net. Fully focused today. Big issue is that I am getting caught up in the details and end up focusing too much on smaller opportunities, missing the big turns. CL was a good example of this. I had it mapped out reasonably well but my focus was on the scalps.

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 2 ES 2052.75 13:11 (Friday), B 1 2050 (Sunday open), B 1 2045: +$517
27000 tk, entry per plan, exit per plan. This was dangerous. My higher time frame bias was to look to fade any push above 2062 but I missed the entry, waiting for too much confirmation.

2. B 2 ES 2044 6:30, S 2 2046: +$192
1min, entry per plan, exit not per plan. was targeting 2048 but the choppiness scared me and I took profit too soon.
3. B 2 ES 2046 7:25, S 2 2044.5: ($159)
1min, entry/exit not per plan. Got in too early, against very strong bear trend bar. Was buying test of Friday day session low, valid setup area, but got caught up micromanaging particular levels and my expectations were too rigid. Ruined an otherwise good trade opportunty.
4. B 2 ES 2044.25 10:49, S 2 2043.25: ($109)
1000t, entry/exit per plan
5. B 2 ES 2041.5 11:20, S 2 2045.5 11:43: +$392
1000t, entry/exit per plan
6. B 2 NQ 4209.25 at 12:01, S 2 4207.25: ($89)
987tk, entry per plan, exit too soon. Plan exit was below prior swg low = 4201.75. exited impulsively.
7. S 2 ES 2043.5 at 12:43, B 1 2041.5, B 1 2044.5: +$42
8. B 1 CL 52.07 at 18:01, S 1 52.20: +$126
3000tk, entry per plan, exit not per plan. lost patience during quite time.

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  #46 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TS
Broker: IB, TS
Trading: ES/YM
 
Posts: 43 since Jun 2010
Thanks: 4 given, 43 received

Up $507 net. Quiet day, focusing more on stocks, although no PnL to speak of. Still trading insignificant size to try to better develop a process. Still relatively unprepared. With futures, I can focus on a handful of markets and get fully prepared in about 30 minutes. With stocks I find the prep time to be far longer.

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 52.28 at 6:03, B 1 CL 52.12 at 6:05, S 1 52.25, S 1 52.52: +$362
3000tk, entry per plan, exit per plan, but I was focused on the wrong side of the market. The weak reaction up, and then the strong BO down thru the TL pointed to a real bearish shift in sentiment.

2. S 1 S 980.75 at 9:11, B 1 977.75: +$146
987tk, entry per plan, exit per plan. Entered after Agriculture Report as price remained fairly contained. I find that as long as I wait just enough to avoid getting run over when a serious trend develops, the volatility surrounding the crop reports creates terrific trading opportunities, quite predictable tests of the obvious key price levels.

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  #47 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TS
Broker: IB, TS
Trading: ES/YM
 
Posts: 43 since Jun 2010
Thanks: 4 given, 43 received

Up $605 net. The result is reasonable but the trading behind it was extremely sloppy. Around 10AM I ended up jumping into ES last minute without proper preparation and in a very cavalier way, enter at market against strong counter trend pressure. I then impulsively reversed and got spanked again, giving back earlier gains and then some. I read recently a great quote: "Never take a trade that wasn't considered at least 5 minutes earlier". I was frustrated missing early trades in stocks (my nemesis market), became tired and unfocused during the quiet period. The other mistake was taking profit too quickly in CL. My 2nd CL trade entry was at a major supply zone, and the follow thru was quite strong. I was really hoping for a retest of the supply zone but the market went straight down. This had me rethink my position management rules. I need to consider swinging those trades that occur at either the edge of the range/channel or at major supply-demand zones, rather than simply exiting at the next area of counter trend strength. I then got lucky on after hours volatility, shorting both YM and ES at key price levels, presuming that this type of strength, occurring after hours, into the edge of major trading range, could easily reverse. In the fast market I am too quick to enter/exit at market. In this case it worked out ok but often this is the source of out sized losses.

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 48.94 at 7:01, S 1 49.13: +$186
1m, entry per plan, exit per plan. Only problem was that I was completely on the wrong side of the major trend, obvious on the chart. My exit should have been an entry short. As has been a recurring comment of mine, this is a function of trying to pick bottoms/tops in steady state trending markets rather than waiting for a pull back.

2. S 1 CL 49.91 at 9:23, B 1 49.66: +$246
987tk, entry per plan, exit per plan. This was a great area for trend resumption and the test price action was a single narrow range channel, essentially an extended 1 leg PB, much more indicative of a PB in a trend market rather than the start of a major trend reversal. The last move down was on big Mo and had not been retested, an unlikely formation for a major turn.

3. B 2 ES 2057.5 at 10:10, S 2 2054.5: ($309)
3000tk, entry not per plan, exit not per plan. One of my rules is that if the test swing is a spike, succession of counter trend strong trend bars that I need to wait for some evidence rrounding the crop reports creates terrific trading opportunities, quite predictable tests of the obvious key price levels.

4. B 1 US at 146'22 at 12:36, S 1 146'28: +$183
1000t, entry/exit per plan.

5. S 1 ES 2074.75 at 13:39, B 1 2070.25: +$221
27000t, entry/exit reckless, gambling

6. S 1 YM 17922 13:42, S 1 YM 17949 13:43, B 1 17924, B 1 17888: +$287
60m, entry/exit per plan, far better relationship than in ES. First entry was too early. 2nd entry was at the appropriate level, then moved tgt for 1st entry to 1st entry price (break even), held 2nd for PB to breakout point.

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  #48 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TS
Broker: IB, TS
Trading: ES/YM
 
Posts: 43 since Jun 2010
Thanks: 4 given, 43 received

Up $470 net. Took only a few futures trades. Tried to focus more effort on stocks. I am pleased that I took no blatantly bad trades (no basis, not per plan), but I realize this generally means I wasn't nearly aggressive enough. Often I find the biggest wins are often from the setups that, at the time, looked questionable.

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 2 ES 2076 at 6:48, S 1 2078, S 1 2074.75: +$29
9000tk, entry per plan, exit not per plan. At a glance appears to be overbought, but entered b/c reactions are getting smaller, buying pressure stronger. However these conditions can be choppy. On Key Price BO my plan dictates that I keep my stop beyond the swg low preceding the upside BO. In this case that would have required stop below 2071.75, risking 4.25 pts. Had I used proper stop then would have been big win. As an interesting aside, I find that the initial impulse in ES often runs as far as the risk would need to be (1R). Here, key price = 2075, stop needed to be at least 2071.5, so risk 3.5 to 4 pts. This implies initial impulse should run at least to 2078.5-2079.

2. S 1 CL 50.42 at 7:04, B 1 50.22: +$196
3000tk, entry per plan, exit not per plan. Entered when reaction held below 50% of last up move, and plan exit should be ahead of base of last up move, around 49.85. I saw another key price level at 50.17 and exited ahead of this. Sometimes this saves a trade, but more often I am finding that such fine tuning detracts too much from profit.

3. B 1 CL 49.89 at 7:27, S 1 50.04: +$146
3000tk, entry not per plan. too much selling pressure, no evidence yet of buying, was supposed to wait for bullish pressure in the form of strong bull trend bar and then take the next signal bar, if approximately in line with first signal bar. This was aggressive entry but I exited as soon as I saw no real buying come in. The next valid bull setup occurred around 8:00, the double bottom, but I missed it.

4. S 1 CL 50.38 at 8:25, B 1 50.23: +$146
3000tk, entry per plan, exit per plan. entry was actually too far away from the key price level of 50.53, and this caused me to exit about 0.10 ahead of the proper exit.

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  #49 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TS
Broker: IB, TS
Trading: ES/YM
 
Posts: 43 since Jun 2010
Thanks: 4 given, 43 received

For Feb 13 thru Feb 17: Down $367 net.

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 2 ES 2086 at 6:34 2/13, B 2 2087.50: ($159)
1min, reasonable entry/exit although absence of decent signal bar hinted that buying pressure was stronger than it appeared. I misread the choppy price action as weakness. As soon as there was a bar close with low above 2086 key price level I should have reversed.

2.S 1 CL 53.10 at 7:30 2/13, B 1 53.18: ($84)
1min, entry/exit not per plan. I should not be taking a trade based solely on lower time frame unless market is in a very strong trend or activity is unusually high. Friday before 3 day weekend is particularly light trading.

3. S 1 CL 52.75 at 8:23 2/13, B 1 52.84: ($94)
1min, same issue as above. getting chopped up in ranging price action.

4. B 1 CL 52.84 at 8:26 2/13, S 1 52.94: +$96
reversed last trade. simply trying to get back to break even.

5. B 1 CL 52.20 at 10:52 2/13, S 1 52.40: +$196
scalp, not per plan

6. B 1 EC 1.1365 at 9:24 2/16, S 1 1.1337: ($354)
3000tk, entry not per plan. Needed to see some evidence of slowing momentum, and clearly at my entry level the market was strongly declining. It was US holiday and I wasn't watching this, so left limit order in the system - serves me right. Main problem was that I was buying too high in the supply curve after a clear turn.

7. B 2 ES 2082.25 at 15:00 2/16, S 1 2085.25, S 1 2082.25: +$142
9000tk, entry per plan, exit 1 per plan, exit 2 not per plan. I needed to keep stop beyond the entry swg low and I tightened to break even. Common theme - cheating on system rules to try to save a few ticks is dramatically impairing performance.

8. S 1 US S 145'26 at 16:04 2/16, B 1 145'27: ($36)
9000tk, entry per plan, exit not per plan, same issue as with ES. The problem I am having is taking action based on what I see on lower time frame chart rather than following plan. The 2 conditions that have hurt my trading over the years more than anything else is 1) taking trades into strong or strengthening counter trend pressure (trade plan says I am supposed to wait for evidence of slowing momentum via trigger formation) and 2) managing existing trades from lower time frame chart rather than from trade plan rules. If I could eliminate those 2 problems...

9. B 1 CL 51.29 at 6:43 2/17, S 1 51.51: +$216
30m, entry/exit reasonable

10. S 1 CL 51.51 at 8:29, S 1 51.65: ($144)
30m, entry/exit reasonable

11. S 1 CL 52.48 at 10:16, B 1 52.62: ($144)
30m, entry exit reasonable

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  #50 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TS
Broker: IB, TS
Trading: ES/YM
 
Posts: 43 since Jun 2010
Thanks: 4 given, 43 received

Up $204 net. Wait...late day crude trade...now Down $490. Today was a very disappointing. I was focusing mainly on stocks and have simply confirmed what I knew all along - trading lower time frame setups, stocks in play, is not my thing. With futures I can focus on a handful of markets, but with stocks I find myself jumping around from stock to stock. I have come to believe that successful trading is 90% prep, 10% screen watching. With stocks I find myself 10% prep, 90% watching. The traders I know who do well actively trading stocks are literally watching every minute of every stock on their watch list. I did that today and by the time FOMC minutes came out I couldn't spell my name. I had been up about $500 at that time and gave up $1000 on a handful of mismanaged trades.

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 53.09 at 6:30, B 1 53.21: ($124)
1m, entry/exit per plan

2. S 1 CL 53.77 at 6:49, S 1 53.47: +$296
3000t, entry per plan, exit not per plan. Big weakness in my trading is inability to let larger opportunity play out. My planned exit was 0.25 lower but I was too anxious to get positive for the day.

3. S 1 CL 53.37 at 11:01, B 1 53.07: +$296
Exited way too soon - pull back after strong reversal, potentially far to go. Need to evaluate price action after entry as much as before entry to see how price is reacting to each key price level, holding strongly beyond or simply stalling.

4. B 2 US 144'28+ at 11:27, S 2 144'24: ($271)
3000tk, entry per plan, exit not per plan.

5. B 1 CL 51.94 at 13:30, S 1 51.25: ($694)
Had order left in system that I entered ahead of FOMC Minutes, didn't realize today was API petroleum report at 13:30. Got run over. Had chance to exit at small profit but I hesitated. My head was frazzled from looking at lower time frame stock charts all day. Last day I will be focusing on stock scalping.

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  #51 (permalink)
Newport Beach, CA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: TS
Broker: IB, TS
Trading: ES/YM
 
Posts: 43 since Jun 2010
Thanks: 4 given, 43 received

Thurs Feb 19 thru Mon Feb 23: Up $1393 net.
I haven't included trade details such as interval, chart, or notes, but am planning to from tomorrow. I am trying to streamline how I capture my trade activity but that requires that I actually keep reasonable notes pre trade, after entry, and post trade. I am not keeping good notes so this implies that I am not properly planning trades in advance - too reactive. One theme I keep returning to is simplification, both in terms of process as well as number of markets followed. Over thinking the process and looking at too many markets results in reactive trading. I am slowly coming to terms with 2 basic ways to trade (at least for me): 1) stick to the higher time frame, take the high probability trade at the favorable structural location, don't worry so much about ideal entry, keep stop wide, or 2) fine tune entry at structurally favorable areas by identifying the "tell", the 1-2 lower time frame bars that indicate sentiment has shifted because they took out a key price level that should have held if the current market condition were to continue. The first can be managed by setting alerts ahead of the set up area. Unless counter trend momentum has meaningfully strengthened, simply enter limit order with bracketed stop loss and target, or use a simple trigger. The second requires dramatically more focus, often at the expense of missing opportunities in other markets. In theory the dramatically smaller risk should permit one to trade much bigger size such that only a few good trades are necessary to have a good day. My goal is to be able to do both but I struggle to balance the two.

I tried to include the trade data from my spreadsheet but the formatting doesn't stick. I attached a jpeg file that contains an image of the spreadsheet that should be easier to read.

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