OK, I haven't bought it yet. But that's the GRAND end goal. A few years back, well probably more like 10 years ago, I had two cars and I couldn't afford to keep them both. So I sold the newer one and kept my, all paid for, Mazda pickup. Then I told my wife that I'm not buying another car until I can afford to buy a Porsche 911 (my dream car, and also what my Dad had when I was growing up).
This is going to be my trading journal to document how I made enough money to buy that Porsche. I'm just paper trading now, but I'm hoping to go live in February. And, I'm going to do it the hard way (i.e. on as little funding as possible).
This will either be a grand success story, or I'll go down in a huge fireball. Either way, I'm also hoping someone might find the journal beneficial.
See this thread and this one for some extra info on me and my goals. (The second thread will contain a post with a link back to here, so don't get caught in a loop!)
To start, I'm going to day trade the ES, and only the ES. I might also swing trade it. I plan to transition from my current job as an electrical engineer to trading full time.
Well, I think that's enough of an intro. The next post should contain the start of my paper trading journal.
Have a CAVU day!
P.S. I just saw that there's another thread with almost the exact same title! Oh, well. To clarify, I REALLY am trying to buy a Porsche!
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So, I'm not sure what info I'm supposed to document here in this journal. I've looked at a few other journals and there doesn't seem to be a set format. I'll keep looking though. So, for now, I'll just post weekly #'s on/after Friday of each week and daily commentary on my education and trades.
Here's a table for the last 3 weeks.
Trading Log Summary
'14 Week 52
'15 Week 1
'15 Week 2
What I'm taking away from these numbers is that I'm getting better as I educate myself and get more screen time in front of the charts. I'm not going to put a lot of stock in the high numbers (what I consider high anyway) of '15 Week 2. A friend told me that if I'm just OK at paper trading, I'll have a hard time when live, if I do outstanding in PT, then I'll do OK when live.
I'm still playing around with my platform setup (ToS), and plan to try NinjaTrader next week. My original plan was to use TradeStation, but I don't think they have a free/trial version. NT was/is my second choice.
Have a CAVU day!
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I thought the market was going to have an up day today, so before the open I was long. Obviously, that went south, but I got out with only a small loss.
I was trying to be patient, and missed most of the big early down trend. I got in late for my second trade and found I was at the bottom, so another loser.
After that, I was behind the market all day. Again, being patient, I was waiting for confirmation of direction and keep getting in too late. I was trying to wait for the market to hit my +4 pt targets and missed out on 2-3 pt gains to end up with 4-5 pt losses.
I clearly don't do well on days where it's choppy.
I think I had it in my head that the trend was one way, and read the charts with that bias, only to realize too late that the (short term?) trend was the opposite.
I need to stick to a daily loss limit and bench myself. I think that limit will be twice what my daily goal is.
I also think I could be better at reversing my position when I realize I've got it wrong. One, I have to realize I've got it wrong, and two I need to figure out my trading platform to figure out which button to press.
Using NT today instead of ToS, might have been an issue, but I think is was 95% me misreading everything.
I hadn't planned on trading on Tuesday (real job needed attention), but I made the mistake of checking the chart with about half an hour to go in the day session. I thought I saw a good opportunity, and I was wrong. Waited too long for it to swing my way and was big time in the hole from the get go. Scratched back a couple points then gave up.
New rule, don't trade in the first 30 minutes of looking at charts. I need that time to get a feel for the flow of the market.
On Wednesday I had a good day. I broke one of my rules and took a position overnight. I put in a -10 pt stop, and sure enough it got hit. Then by pure luck, I woke up early, saw the loss, and got back in to my original position. A report came out, that I didn't know about, and the market dropped in my favor to give me back my loss. After that, I thought I read the charts OK.
Today, started off OK. I was up 8 pts after an hour and a half. Then I got greedy and tried to earn back what I had lost on Monday. All I accomplished was to give back most of today's gains. I should modify my quit after +10 pts rule to be quit after doubling my daily goal.
So, what have I learned the last three days? Stick to my rules. I also need to work on getting out of a losing position quicker.
I think I'm also trading with a split personality. One part of me wants to hang on longer to let winners run, and the other part of me wants to get out with 2-4 pt gains. Am I trying to be a day trader or a swing trader? I'm confusing myself by trading as if it's one kind of trend (a long term trend) when the short term trend is the opposite.
I forgot to post last Friday's numbers. Here they are.
Daily Trading Log Summary
'15 Week 3
Friday was an experiment of sorts. I've had problems quickly detecting the reversal of a short term trend. So, I tried to quickly reverse my position when I decide the trend has changed. This worked OK for the first hour, and I was up 8 pts. According to my rules, I should have stopped trading for the day. But, I didn't.
The last trade of the first hour ended when I got spooked and thought the trend had changed, but it was just a small pullback. Now I was out of sync with the market. I made 21 trades today, and 12 of the last 13 were losers. 5 of the losers were for -3 pts or more. Also, I thought the longer term trend was going to turn bearish and it stayed bullish. Fighting the trend doesn't work.
I'm not sure the reversal strategy would work in real life, with slippage. I tried not to flip very often, but 7 of my first 8 trades were for 1.25 pts or less.
I'm never one to shy away from admitting I'm wrong, at this rate I won't be ready to go live in February. I probably won't paper trade next week. I need to take care of some other business and I want to research more info on day trading and useful relationships and indicators.
I've seen Expenctancy mentioned in several threads on this site. I can see how it's a useful measure of performance, so I'll start including it in my tables. Here is my Expectancy for this week and overall:
2015 Week 3 = -$40.14.
Overall = -$5.74.
If I understand it correctly, these negative Expectancy numbers are due to my losers being larger than my winners. This is definitely a problem I need to correct before going live.
Haha, I have done almost exactly the same when I decided to take trading beyond the theoretical stage: I set obtaining a 911 GT3 as my "goal". I like how goals give you a better perspective on where you are and what you have to do.
I had planned on taking some time off from paper trading and educating myself. That didn't work out. I ended up trading on 3 days, wed - fri.
On Monday and Tuesday, I spent time researching and learning more about using volume to help interpret price charts. I also did some research into what information I should be watching, and interpreting, throughout the day to help me determine market trend.
On Wednesday, the 21st, I started trading some different instruments, DX, M6E, NQ, 6J, GC, CL and ZB. I also switched back to ThinkOrSwim because I'm more comfortable with it at this point, although I don't like how the order entry works. I did OK, up $611.25 for the day, but I was mostly just playing around.
On Thursday, I started out trading NQ, but that didn't go well. I switched back to ES, and didn't gain anything back. The last trade of the day was CL, for +$120. I ended up -$547.50 for the day.
On Friday, I tried some different instruments again, GC, NQ, M6E, DX, ES. It was a bad day from the start. I was awake at 00:49, and made some trades, all for losses. I was up by the time the NYSE openned and made some more trades, all but one was a loser. I had stopped trading after a couple hours, but made two more trades right at market close, both for losses. I only had one positive trade for the day and ended up -$1162.50.
My biggest problem at this point is discipline. I'm not following my rules.
I also think that I don't have a big enough account to trade ES effectively. It just moves too much for my loss tolerance. That is one reason I wanted to try other instruments. I thought NQ would be good (smaller tick $ amount), but it just seems to move twice as many ticks as ES, so the $ amounts in the swings are about the same.
I have more problems, but my third biggest problem is not trading WITH the trend. This is partly because I'm not looking at larger time frames enough to see the larger trend.
I became an Elite member on Friday of last week. I plan on reading a lot of threads and watching a bunch of the webinars.
Over the weekend (1/24-1/25) decided I wanted to try to incorporate Market Profile into my setup. I realized that I'm entering trades without any idea of what my target should be. I have been setting a stop loss order (based on my loss tolerance) and just manually getting out when I feel like it. So, then the question becomes, how do I determine a profit target? One, way is to identify price support and resistance levels, and use those at targets. That's where Market Profile comes in. I think it will help me identify S/R levels.
The other thing I want to incorporate into my setup is VWAP with +/- 2sd levels. I'll try using daily and weekly VWAP.
I decided to watch the following to try and determine market trend and sentiment: $ADVN-$DECN, $VIX, CL, GC, ZB and USD/JPY.
I didn't trade on Monday. On Tuesday (1/27), I started out with a trade in M6E, for a loss of -$22.50. I then made a trade in NQ for a profit of $200. Only one more trade, in M6E, for a gain of $105. In the last trade, I used 4 contracts.
On Wednesday, I again started out trading M6E. After four trades I was only up $17.50. Then I switched to NQ. I did a bit better, and at the end of the day I was up $427.50. I only had one loser with NQ. The trades in NQ weren't that hard because the market was dropping steadily, and I kept getting in and out.
On Thursday, I just traded NQ. I made one good trade before the market openned and was up $100. I then broke one of my rules and trading right after the opening bell. The price was jumping all over the place, and I got scared and took a loss of -$310. After that, I was out of sync with the trend and I was trying to hard to make up my early losses. I also broke my rule to stop after so much in losses. I ended the day with a loss of -$690.
On Friday, I couldn't trade NQ because of margin requirements, so I tried DX, and then M6E and ZB. After two DX trades, I was down -$30. The next 5 trades were in M6E, and I didn't do well. I was now down -$52.50. I didn't see very many good trade oportunities in DX or M6E. After a couple hours, I noticed ZB moving and made two trades, both positive, and ended the day with a gain of $103.75.
With commissions, I ended up with a net loss for the week of -$136.07.
Again, my biggest problem is discipline and following my rules. Other than Thursday, I think I did OK with being patient and letting the trades come to me. But, all it takes is one day to wipe out all my other gains.
I think market profile and vwap did help me. I still need to tweak my settings, though, so I can see monthly and YTD information. I've also been reading about other market profile like charts, but I'd have to switch back to Ninja Trader.
I'm still having problems identifying and trading WITH the trend.
I'm torn on which instrument I should be trading. I think I understand how ES and NQ move, but I'm not sure I'm going to have a big enough account to withstand the losses/drawdown. At this point, I don't think I understand what makes the Euro (M6E) move. I'll have to do some more research on this.
The last two weeks I didn't do very well to keep a trade journal so that I could review what I was thinking when I entered trades. It doesn't do me any good to review the charts after the fact, because it doesn't look the same as when it's actually unfolding.
Based on your responses to some of the advice given in your other thread, it is no surprise that you're in this situation. Like, at all. I mean you could see it coming a mile away. The good news is that you've gone down to micros and become an elite member. You don't have to agree with everything the SMEs say on this forum and drink the kool aid, I sure don't, but there is a lot of information here to seek out and soak up. There are certainly worse ways to spend a hundred bucks on trading education.
You should start describing your process in this journal. All you're doing so far is posting results, and that doesn't really help anybody. Tell us why you entered a trade, what did you see on the chart that made you enter. Put it all out there for us. I for one would like to see how you made $600 in a day "mostly just playing around."
Someday, and that day may never come, I'll call upon you to do a service for me.
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