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ES day trader bbdsan's journal


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ES day trader bbdsan's journal

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  #1 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Hi everyone,

Here's a link to my introduction - actually I can't post a link yet, as this is only my 2nd post.

I'm day trading ES based on a couple years experience trading/watching the market and some things I've learned over the years:

Median Line Analysis from watching countless daily videos by Paul Coghlan at CoghlanCapital.com
Various technical analysis techniques from John Carter, Henry Gambell and Neil at SimplerOptions.com
Trading in the Matrix - Van Tharp
And most recently some Price Action Trading Strategies from PATs Trading (priceactiontradingsystem.com)

I've swing and day traded ES for a couple years now but tried the PATs stuff for the first time today.

Today's results (one contract only):
21 trades
9 wins
9 losses
3 b/e
P/L -$72.34 (including $84.84 in commissions)

I started off with a long at 9:59. Stopped for max loss 8 ticks. I was watching a 2000t chart of price with a 21 EMA. I thought I saw a consolidation pattern forming and was trying to fade a false breakout to the downside. It ended being a real breakout to the downside! Lesson learned: DON'T TRADE COUNTER TREND. The market was already trending down pretty strongly in the first 30 minutes of trading and if anything I should have been looking for a good place to get short, like at the top of that consolidation pattern.

Next there was a consolidation pattern between 81.5 and 77.75 as the market digested the large move down. I faded the top of that range 3 times, one b/e, one win, one loss.

(I have some nice screenshots for this but can't post those either, due to being new to futures.io (formerly BMT))

Next the market started trending up. I used a couple pullbacks to a trend line to get long and scored a few points. Then it started consolidating again between 99.75 and 3.50. During the consolidation the market broke the up trend and I was flat.

The market started chopping down. It formed another consolidation pattern between 96.5 and 94. I faded 2 false up-side breakouts for 3.5 more points. At that point I was up 4.25 points on the day, about $180 profit after commissions. It was a little after 12:30 EST and I really should have quit for the day. Lesson learned: IF I'M UP $100 OR MORE BEFORE 1 PM, JUST QUIT FOR THE DAY.

Even though the market had started gently trending down, I tried to fade what I thought was a false down-side breakout below 94. A repeat of my earlier mistake, and an extra big loss of 3.5 points. For some reason my automatic 2 point stop loss order didn't trigger and I had stepped away from the screen for 2-3 minutes. Ugh!

At 12:57 I shorted a down trend line I had drawn in. The pattern was a sloped head & shoulders. It was good for 2.5 points. I tried to do the same thing at 13:21 based on a different line. It went against me right away but didn't stop me out. The market seemed pretty well bid at the moment so I bailed at b/e when I had a chance.

From 13:30 to 14:00 I tried getting long 3 times, 2 losers and 1 winner, lost 1.75. From 14:00 to 14:30 I tried getting short 5 times, 4 losers and 1 b/e, lost 9.25. I kept finding new down trend lines and trying to short them.

It was bad. I was down 8 points on the day plus a lot of commissions. Finally the market started trending up really strongly. I got long at 14:57 and rode the position for 7 points. Then I got one little scalp long just before the close, 1 more point.

The PATs Trading book says to go through the chart each day and I am finding this exercise very helpful. I was getting everything wrong in the afternoon between 13:30 and 14:30. I've heard that trading ES can be rough after 12:00. In the future I'll try to make my nut before noon and just observe the rest of the day.

Thanks for reading and for anything you're willing to contribute.

-bbdsan

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  #3 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received


Today's results similar to yesterday:
6 wins
8 loses
3 b/e
17 trades
Net +0.25 points
But so many commissions
P/L -$56.18

 
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  #4 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

I'm still unable to post pictures. I need to have at least 5 posts.

 
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  #5 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

4 posts here, plus my intro post. That should do it.

 
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  #6 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Okay, so now that I can post pictures, here is my chart today:

This is the whole day, including pre-market through RTH:


Then I have some close-ups, showing my trades and comments:





I'm finding it extremely useful (and very time consuming) to go through the chart and my trades after the market closes. I continue to make mistakes with trading counter trend. I guess I need to zoom out and get a broader view before I take a setup.

It was also interesting to learn how my Median Line Analysis (MLA) skills could have helped me so much today. I was so busy looking for 2nd entries, false breakouts, etc. (thing's I've learned from PATs Trading) that I forgot how useful sliding parallels can be.

Until tomorrow,

-bbdsan

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  #7 (permalink)
sioux falls,sd/usa
 
 
Posts: 6 since Dec 2013
Thanks: 0 given, 1 received

I have just recently stumbled across Mack's PATs website and only watched a couple of his videos, but I liked his stuff, very similar to Al Brooks. One thing that I noticed is they talk signal bars and entry bars and the way I understand it is the first bar to make a higher high(or lower low in a downtrend)is the signal bar. The entry bar, at least taught by Al, is the break of the signal bar. From the couple videos I've seen of Mack he does the same but has enough experience to have a good idea of when to enter with a limit order and not wait for the break. Looking at your charts it looks like taking the break of the signal bar would have kept you out of a number of losing trades. I like your work and plan to continue reading as I am working with similar ideas.

Ridgcap

 
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  #8 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Thanks for reading. Yes, I'm trying to trade like Mack. I am learning a ton! It's been so helpful to review my chart at the end of the day, go over all of my trades, and then watch Mack's daily YouTube video.

I'm not an expert by any stretch, but here's my understanding of the "2nd entry" that Mack is always mentioning:

Suppose prices are trending up and you're looking to get long. Prices start pulling back and each bar has a lower high and a lower low. You start watching for a 1st entry - when a bar goes higher than the previous bar's high. Mack says that inexperienced traders take that 1st entry long. It might go up a couple ticks but usually the "1st entry" fails. With the 1st entry out of the way, prices continue down with each bar making a lower high (a lower low is not necessary - again, as I understand the "rules"). The 2nd entry is the one you want to take - same thing, when the current bar goes higher than the previous bar. Typically I trigger a 2nd entry by placing a buy-stop order one tick above the previous bar's high.

Here's a picture of one that worked well today:


I would recommend buying Mack's Price Action Trading manual. It's only $99. (I am not affiliated with PATs in any way!)

Good luck,
-bbdsan

 
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  #9 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Huge improvement today!

20 trades
12 wins
5 losses
3 b/e
+4.25 points net
$131.70 profit (incl. commissions)

The most important thing I learned today is that entries do not necessarily only have to be "with the trend". I mean, it seems that way to me. Maybe that's only the case on a "range day" like today. I suppose it wouldn't work well on a purely trending day. Anyway, on to the charts...







Oh, also I calculated what my results would have been if I altered my rules just a little and traded 2 contracts instead of one. So, I would still enter using the same rules but with 2 contracts. My initial stop would be 2.5 points instead of 2.0. And my scalp target on one contract would be 1.25 points instead of 1.0. Then I would allow the 2nd contract to run, setting its stop back at b/e. Turns out I would have had 13 wins, 4 loses and 3 b/e. Most of the runners stopped out at b/e but a few of them could have been trailed up for more profits. Altogether it would have been possible to take 28.5 points today!

I will not trade 2 contracts though, until I have a proven track record. I'll try to stick to only taking the 1.0 scalp profits and just work on improving my win/loss performance.

I won't be trading much tomorrow (which kills me because I think we'll see some big moves). Until next time, good trading everyone!

-bbdsan

 
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  #10 (permalink)
sioux falls,sd/usa
 
 
Posts: 6 since Dec 2013
Thanks: 0 given, 1 received


I agree with your understanding of a 1st and 2nd entry, but the way Al teaches and I think Mack would suggest for less experienced traders to use a stop one tick above the signal bar which in the case of this picture would actually be 1 tick above the bars you have marked. The entry gets farther away but it prevents a few more stop outs just like the 2nd entry does. Also in the case of the 2nd entry in your example the entry bar also goes 1 tick below the signal bar possibly trapping shorts. I tried attaching your example not sure it will work since i've only posted a few times.

ridgcap

Attachment 173996

 
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  #11 (permalink)
sioux falls,sd/usa
 
 
Posts: 6 since Dec 2013
Thanks: 0 given, 1 received

Sorry for the clumsy attachment, will do differently in the future.

 
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  #12 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Great day! I was away from my platform from about 12 to about 2:30. Still, I got 6 trades in with only 1 loss (because of a big mistake on my part)

6 trades
5 wins
1 loss
+3.25 points net
$138.26 profit including commissions

I was stoked to see I could perform well on the range day yesterday AND the dull grind higher today. I'm also proud that I followed my entry and exit rules perfectly, taking my 4-tick scalps and resisting the urge to try for a runner. Those will come later when I'm trading 2 contracts.

Here are the charts:





-bbdsan

 
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  #13 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Total blowout today. I made the classic psychological mistake, entering a position without a stop. It started moving against me so fast that I just froze. I'm not sure what to do. If I switch to paper trading it won't be the same. It won't put me under the kind of stress that induces those kinds of psychological mistakes. But if I trade real money I might screw up again and take myself out of the game.

I've made this mistake before, many times in fact. I'm sure there are people here who have made the same mistake trading futures. How have you over come it? So far I've been unable to figure out how to avoid that mistake.

Anyway, here are my charts for the day:







I'm going to go spend some time in the psychology forum now.

-bbdsan

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  #14 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

I decided I'm going to paper trade for at least a week. Yes, it won't simulate the stress and pressure that induces the kind of psychological mistakes that I made yesterday. However, I won't lose a dime. I'll live to trade another day. And I'll improve my price action reading skills.

I'll still post charts, but they will show my paper trades of course.

-bbdsan

 
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  #15 (permalink)
sioux falls,sd/usa
 
 
Posts: 6 since Dec 2013
Thanks: 0 given, 1 received

I've made the same mistake. I get angry start moving my stops, adding contracts when price is moving against me. I finally just quit because I'm sick of loosing money. I've lost 2 small accounts, after each loss I've stopped trading live for about 6 months. After the last account I've moved to a paper account, where I can work on the problems I've faced. Lets face it, from your last experience it sounds like you have a discipline problem, thats a huge one for me too. This is where a sim account is great......if you can't exercise discipline in that kind of relaxed environment, you won't in real life either. I've been killing it in sim accounts for the last months, I've repeatedly taken $5000 balances to well over $30000 in a couple months time but I've done it by straying from rules that i'd have to adhere to in real life, so I'm still trading in a sim account. I recently decided that I'm going to enter the Topsteptrader combine, but not until I can pass it in a sim environment. I know I can but I get those days that throw my whole rhythm off because I've done something my rules wouldn't allow me. And that's one thing I need to do....take some time to write down my entire plan instead of trying to remember the rules as I go. I need more discipline. I need to take this more serious as well. I think those are a couple of things that a lot of retail traders lack which keeps them/me from becoming a successful trader. Good Luck.

ridgcap

 
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  #16 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Thanks ridgcap. Yes, a discipline problem is exactly what I have. That and the nagging need to be "right".

Today was my first time trading a sim account - NinjaTrader. I really liked it! I'll post my charts here in a bit.

-bbdsan

 
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  #17 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Trading on the NinjaTrader sim account today. Decent day.

After the first few trades I started trading 2 contracts and caught a couple nice runners.

25 trades
16 wins
8 losses
1 b/e
+4.3 points net
$143 profit net (including commissions)






-bbdsan

 
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  #18 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Wow! Really horrible day. I made pretty much every mistake and bad read I could make. Good thing I'm trading on a simulator and not real money.

Here are my charts:






Tomorrow is an all new day!

-bbdsan

 
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  #19 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Did much better today. I made some good reads and caught a few runners, too. I traded each entry with 2 contracts, looking to scalp 4 ticks on one contract and let the other run with a stop at b/e.

14 trades
11 wins
3 losses
+11.75 points net
+$481.66 profit including commissions

Here are my charts which I tried to capture "real time":







-bbdsan

 
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  #20 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Uhg, rough day today. Again, I have the charts as they were captured "real-time" throughout the day. It seems like my entries were legit but very few of them worked today. Late in the day I finally realized that we were having a "spike and trend" day as Mack discussed recently ().

I'm so grateful that I'm only paper trading this. One important thing I learned today is that I need to zoom out on the chart every 15 min or so to see if there's an overall theme forming. I think I would have recognized the gentle up-trend today after the 3rd bounce and would have been looking for more long entries.

On with the charts...







We'll try it again tomorrow...

-bbdsan

 
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  #21 (permalink)
sioux falls,sd/usa
 
 
Posts: 6 since Dec 2013
Thanks: 0 given, 1 received

Just want to preface that I'm not an expert, don't claim to be, and hope I don't come across as one. As a fellow humbled day trader I wanted to share a bit of what I've learned and hope it is in line with the direction that you are going(style of trading). I have always had a tendency to focus on small time frames cause I'm impatient and love the action. Other traders have encouraged people like me to focus on larger time frames because there is less noise. That is maybe good advice but its not my style and I can't afford the large stops needed so I look at the bigger picture for trends that can help me on the small time frame. This is not a breakthrough idea but sometimes we get caught up in too small a time frame and miss the bigger picture that can help us in the short term by giving direction or keeping our targets within reason or help us hold on for the extra ticks. One thing I've experienced is that when I'm patient and disciplined my trading(sim) is quite profitable when looking to these trends and channels for entries or exits. I am enjoying reading your posts and seeing your trades thanks for keeping it up. I truly believe you can reach your goals with persistence and discipline and the willingness to learn, I plan to.

Trade on,
ridgcap




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  #22 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

@ridgcap I like that idea of zooming out and looking for broader trends/slopes

Well I closed out my IB account and I'm strictly trading SIM for now. Still learning a ton and like Mack says, the best idea is to review your chart and trades at the end of the day. Also I switched back to scalp only. I'm not going for any runners because it's too hard to recover from a couple losing trades. Plus on the SIM it's just about improving my win/loss ratio right now. I can worry about runners later after I'm consistently profitable with just the 4-tick scalps. I've noticed even Mack does a lot of 10-contract scalps with no runners.

Anyway, on to the charts for today. It was a profitable day with more winners than losers. I netted 7 ticks.






Until next time,
-bbdsan

 
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  #23 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Really good day today. I was 7 for 7 on my trades even though I got spooked a couple times and took less than my normal 4-tick scalp target. But still, I felt really good about my reads today.

7 trades
7 wins
0 losses
+5.75 points net

And my charts...







Hopefully I can repeat today's results tomorrow, and the day after that, and the next day.....

-bbdsan

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  #24 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

What a comeback today! I started the day horribly: 2 loses, 1 win, then 2 more losses. But I kept at it and was able to accumulate 8 more wins before the day was done.

The second 2 losses were an example of some really poor trading. I misread the market completely. Looking back it is totally obvious to me now that we had a channel working down, a break, then 2 legs down to a new low. This is textbook price action and I don't understand why I was trying to get long there. Even the winner I had there was wrong. I just got lucky on that one. I should have been anticipating the move to a new low after the down-channel broke. I should have been looking to get short or at least just standing aside and watching it play out.

But I'm proud of the fact that I was able to get back in the game and turn a really bad losing day into a profitable one. Also, I don't think I mentioned it here but lately I am trading 5 contracts, scalping out on 4 and holding the 5th for a runner. This is on the simulator, of course.

13 trades
9 wins
4 loses
+$216.80 (including commissions, which were considerable today)

Lots of charts today...










I hope everyone enjoys their weekend and I'll be back at it next week.

-bbdsan

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  #25 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Kind of nutty today. I was a little scattered, made some mistakes, made one trade completely by accident (which actually worked out), and like Friday I turned a losing day into a profitable one.

I traded 5 contracts and scalped out in full, no runners today.

13 trades
9 wins
4 losses
+$129.30 net including commissions

And the charts...












I'm studying a little Al Brooks tonight. Seems like his methods are a little simpler.

-bbdsan

 
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  #26 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Uhg, crappy day. What upsets me the most is that I doubled down on a trade today. I'm not supposed to do that. If I misread the market and a trade goes against me I'm supposed to just take the loss and look for the next trade. Of course the double-size trade didn't work out and I got stopped out with my maximum 2 point loss. So I'm feeling pretty discouraged about that. On the plus side I was able to get my act back together enough to end the day with two big winners. You'll notice on my last chart that I added on. Under my trading plan, adding on is okay. As long as I'm adding on to a winner because I'm reading strength in the market's movement with my original trade. The doubling down on a loser, not okay. So I better let that be the last time.

10 trades
6 wins
4 losses
-$626.50 net including commissions
+$1292.20 net including commissions 2/18 - 2/24

And now, the charts...






Thanks for reading!

-bbdsan

 
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  #27 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

I have two things to say about today:

1) It's a damn good thing I'm trading on a simulator, and not with real money.
2) It is clear that I need to continue trading strictly on a simulator for quite a while.

I am going to refocus and start fresh tomorrow with the following goals:

1) Trade on the simulator as I would want to trade my real money - i.e. don't break the rules, no doubling down, no counter trend trades, no "it looks so far from the EMA here so I'll just make a "value" trade right here, stick to the PA rules I've learned from Mack at PATs.
2) Improve my PA reading skills - target is an 80% or better win/loss ratio.

So yeah, that's where I am after today. The nice thing about trading SIM is that you can "reset" any time you want and start fresh.

Here are my charts for today...






Here's to fresh starts!

-bbdsan

 
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  #28 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Well the fresh start didn't go so well today. I'm really struggling to read the price action correctly. Also, after watching Mack's chart lesson for the day I realize I'm trading too often. I need to be more patient and wait on the clear setups.

I figured out how to use Market Replay on NT. So I'll be trading days from last year about this time. Might as well, since it's just play money and the Market Replay is perfectly realistic and I can make trades just like I can in live trading. A nice thing about this plan is that I can pause, rewind & fast forward whenever I want. I can trade on my own schedule and catch up on some sleep. I'm on the west coast so trading live means waking up between 5:30 & 6:30. I have the perfect "day job", working from home from 2 pm to 10:30 pm so it's always fit well with day trading 6:30 am to 1 pm. But it's still better for me to get a full 8 hours of sleep. If I ever get good at this PA stuff then I'll have to figure something out. Trading while sleep deprived is not a great idea.

Anyway, enough of that. Here are my charts for the day...








My next post will be from the past

-bbdsan

 
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  #29 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

I've really enjoyed being able to trade replay data on my own schedule. I've been able to get more sleep and greatly increase my screen time and practice at the same time. When I'm waiting for an entry I can speed it up until I see a signal starting to form. Once I enter a trade I can again speed it up to see the result faster. So all of that has been awesome. What hasn't been so great is my ability to read the price action. I traded 5 days on replay, 3/3/2014 - 3/7/2014. I took 74 trades, 43 winners, 31 losers.

I'm using a stop of 8 ticks (sometimes 6 or 7 depending on the entry) and a scalper's target of 4 ticks. With that risk/reward ratio my win/loss ratio needs to be 70% or better. I'm glad I was able to produce more wins than losses but unfortunately it's not good enough.

All I can do is keep working on it. The main goal is to eliminate mistakes such as trying to get in on a first entry instead of waiting for a second entry, or counter-trend trading before a new trend has been established.

It's also interesting for me to observe my emotions while trading the simulator. I still get upset when I take a loss, even though it's just play money. And worse yet, I start trading more impatiently after a string of losses. It's really tough to refocus after a loss and patiently wait for the next solid setup.

I'll trade another week of replay data and report back here.

-bbdsan

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  #30 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Well, it's been 3 weeks since my last post. I'm still trading strictly on the simulator, no real money. I've been working my way through March and now April of 2014. I'm using the replay feature on Ninja Trader.

I'm happy to report that my results are improving. Psychologically I've been able to feel more calm and patient while trading. I just watch the price action and I've been more accepting of it. I'm able to wait for the best setups. I used to have about 20 trades in a day but lately it's more like 7 to 10. My best trades are usually in the morning between 5 am and 9:30 am Pacific.

My plan for when I start trading live again is to have a daily goal of 2-3 winning trades, then switch to the simulator. I feel really confident about this plan. For the last several days of simulator trading I almost always find myself up 3 to 6 winners and 0 to 1 losses early in the session. It's a simulator and I'm trying to get more experience, so I keep trading, but I feel some reluctance. I used to feel worried about trading live and not wanting to switch to the simulator after reaching my daily goal. Now however, I can imagine myself feeling a sense of relief after hitting my goal and gladly switching to the simulator or even just calling it a day!

I had some issues with the replay data from Ninja Trader based on the contract rollover from March to June, so there is a gap between the last results I posted and these results:

3/24/14 -$537.26, 10 wins, 9 losses
3/25/14 +$60.84, 8 wins, 3 losses
3/26/14 +$175.08, 6 wins, 1 loss
3/27/14 +$376.90, 10 wins, 0 losses
3/28/14 -$135.80, 6 wins, 4 losses
Week of 3/24 -$60.04, 40 wins, 17 losses

3/31/14 +$0.16, 8 wins, 5 losses
4/1/14 +$26.90, 6 wins, 3 losses
4/2/14 +$287.58, 7 wins, 0 losses

So that's my update. I'm feeling good. I'm sticking with the simulator for now, at least until I have demonstrated 90% winning days. I also want to see a stretch of 20 or so days without a blowup like 3/24. But I'm feeling close to being ready for live trading (just single contracts) pretty soon.

-bbdsan

 
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  #31 (permalink)
Atlanta, GA
 
 
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bbdsan View Post
Well, it's been 3 weeks since my last post. I'm still trading strictly on the simulator, no real money. I've been working my way through March and now April of 2014. I'm using the replay feature on Ninja Trader.

I'm happy to report that my results are improving. Psychologically I've been able to feel more calm and patient while trading. I just watch the price action and I've been more accepting of it. I'm able to wait for the best setups. I used to have about 20 trades in a day but lately it's more like 7 to 10. My best trades are usually in the morning between 5 am and 9:30 am Pacific.

My plan for when I start trading live again is to have a daily goal of 2-3 winning trades, then switch to the simulator. I feel really confident about this plan. For the last several days of simulator trading I almost always find myself up 3 to 6 winners and 0 to 1 losses early in the session. It's a simulator and I'm trying to get more experience, so I keep trading, but I feel some reluctance. I used to feel worried about trading live and not wanting to switch to the simulator after reaching my daily goal. Now however, I can imagine myself feeling a sense of relief after hitting my goal and gladly switching to the simulator or even just calling it a day!

I had some issues with the replay data from Ninja Trader based on the contract rollover from March to June, so there is a gap between the last results I posted and these results:

3/24/14 -$537.26, 10 wins, 9 losses
3/25/14 +$60.84, 8 wins, 3 losses
3/26/14 +$175.08, 6 wins, 1 loss
3/27/14 +$376.90, 10 wins, 0 losses
3/28/14 -$135.80, 6 wins, 4 losses
Week of 3/24 -$60.04, 40 wins, 17 losses

3/31/14 +$0.16, 8 wins, 5 losses
4/1/14 +$26.90, 6 wins, 3 losses
4/2/14 +$287.58, 7 wins, 0 losses

So that's my update. I'm feeling good. I'm sticking with the simulator for now, at least until I have demonstrated 90% winning days. I also want to see a stretch of 20 or so days without a blowup like 3/24. But I'm feeling close to being ready for live trading (just single contracts) pretty soon.

-bbdsan

bbdsan, I happen across your thread and read some of your post only because I trade the ES as well. In your last post you mentioned that you plan to start trading live again and that your goal is to have 2 - 3 winning trades and then switch to sim trading. I would humbly say that your goal should not be focused on the number of wins for the day, but on the execution of your trades. If you have tested your system and it has an edge in the markets, your focus should be on its execution. The markets have no concern for your goals, and trying to reach a certain number of winning trades daily is putting undue pressure on YOU to perform. Which then make you take bad positions in trying to reach that goal. The key is to wait for you parameters to be met, and if they are not, then you sit on your hands, and if that means sitting all day with no trades, then so be it. Think in terms of 1000 trades not the 2or 3 winning trades per day.

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  #32 (permalink)
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vertiqa20 View Post
bbdsan, I happen across your thread and read some of your post only because I trade the ES as well. In your last post you mentioned that you plan to start trading live again and that your goal is to have 2 - 3 winning trades and then switch to sim trading. I would humbly say that your goal should not be focused on the number of wins for the day, but on the execution of your trades. If you have tested your system and it has an edge in the markets, your focus should be on its execution. The markets have no concern for your goals, and trying to reach a certain number of winning trades daily is putting undue pressure on YOU to perform. Which then make you take bad positions in trying to reach that goal. The key is to wait for you parameters to be met, and if they are not, then you sit on your hands, and if that means sitting all day with no trades, then so be it. Think in terms of 1000 trades not the 2or 3 winning trades per day.

Hi vertiqa20,

I appreciate your post and agree with your thoughts. If my system works (positive expectancy), why not trade it all day every day? I certainly could do that. However, there are a couple factors that hold me back.
  1. I want to have a life outside of trading. If I can, I'd rather be finished with my day's trading after the first 2-3 hours of the regular session. Then I can spend the rest of the day on other things I enjoy. So far on the simulator, I'm usually able to accumulate 2-3 winning trades within the first hour or two. Any mistakes I make tend to come later in the session.
  2. I have noticed that the price action is easier for me to read, and more predictable between the hours of 5 and 9:30 am PST. This tendency is corroborated in many of Mack's daily chart lessons (PATs Trading on YouTube).

I'll see how it goes trading just 1 contract for a while. If I'm winning consistently, I'll bump up the number of contracts. If I reach my goal for the day and I still want some more practice, I'll continue on the simulator (with live data or even replay data).

Thanks again for reading and posting your comments! I really appreciate it.

-bbdsan

 
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  #33 (permalink)
Atlanta, GA
 
 
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bbdsan View Post
Hi vertiqa20,

I appreciate your post and agree with your thoughts. If my system works (positive expectancy), why not trade it all day every day? I certainly could do that. However, there are a couple factors that hold me back.
  1. I want to have a life outside of trading. If I can, I'd rather be finished with my day's trading after the first 2-3 hours of the regular session. Then I can spend the rest of the day on other things I enjoy. So far on the simulator, I'm usually able to accumulate 2-3 winning trades within the first hour or two. Any mistakes I make tend to come later in the session.
  2. I have noticed that the price action is easier for me to read, and more predictable between the hours of 5 and 9:30 am PST. This tendency is corroborated in many of Mack's daily chart lessons (PATs Trading on YouTube).

I'll see how it goes trading just 1 contract for a while. If I'm winning consistently, I'll bump up the number of contracts. If I reach my goal for the day and I still want some more practice, I'll continue on the simulator (with live data or even replay data).

Thanks again for reading and posting your comments! I really appreciate it.

-bbdsan

I totally agree with your times to trade, my specific point was really on having the 2 or 3 winners. Some days you will not have that and must be willing to walk away and come back another day.

 
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  #34 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
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Finished another week of replay trading on the simulator:

3/31/14 +$0.16, 8 wins, 5 losses
4/1/14 +$26.90, 6 wins, 3 losses
4/2/14 +$287.58, 7 wins, 0 losses
4/3/14 -$264.08, 8 wins, 8 losses
4/4/14 +$260.84, 8 wins, 2 losses

Week of 3/31 +$311.40, 37 wins, 18 losses

-bbdsan

 
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  #35 (permalink)
Atlanta, GA
 
 
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bbdsan View Post
Finished another week of replay trading on the simulator:

3/31/14 +$0.16, 8 wins, 5 losses
4/1/14 +$26.90, 6 wins, 3 losses
4/2/14 +$287.58, 7 wins, 0 losses
4/3/14 -$264.08, 8 wins, 8 losses
4/4/14 +$260.84, 8 wins, 2 losses

Week of 3/31 +$311.40, 37 wins, 18 losses

-bbdsan

bbdsan, what are your rules for making a trade, are you wanting to scalp the market? How do you have your charts set up?

 
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  #36 (permalink)
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bbdsan View Post
Finished another week of replay trading on the simulator:

3/31/14 +$0.16, 8 wins, 5 losses
4/1/14 +$26.90, 6 wins, 3 losses
4/2/14 +$287.58, 7 wins, 0 losses
4/3/14 -$264.08, 8 wins, 8 losses
4/4/14 +$260.84, 8 wins, 2 losses

Week of 3/31 +$311.40, 37 wins, 18 losses

-bbdsan

Nice journal and great for you to doing a lot of replay/backtesting.

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  #37 (permalink)
Atlanta, GA
 
 
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bbdsan View Post
Finished another week of replay trading on the simulator:

3/31/14 +$0.16, 8 wins, 5 losses
4/1/14 +$26.90, 6 wins, 3 losses
4/2/14 +$287.58, 7 wins, 0 losses
4/3/14 -$264.08, 8 wins, 8 losses
4/4/14 +$260.84, 8 wins, 2 losses

Week of 3/31 +$311.40, 37 wins, 18 losses

-bbdsan

bbdsan, $311 on 55 trades is $5.65/trade, you may need to re-evaluate your system to not trade some of the noise. $5.65/trade will not allow you to be successful long term

 
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  #38 (permalink)
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That's giving a lot to commissions. Nothing wrong with scalping, but it is hard to be profitable on a small scale. I scalp some when it's slow, but even then, I keep an eye on my MACD, a few different time frame charts, and a few moving averages to help pinpoint bigger moves of the day. It can be hard to stay zoned in on that goal looking at all the noise of 5 minute chart or an order book/DOM. I do use an order book, but I really only read it looking for areas of support and resistance. I am sure you already doing some of this, as you mentioned in your first post, but I just thought I would share some of what I have found.

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  #39 (permalink)
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vertiqa20 View Post
I totally agree with your times to trade, my specific point was really on having the 2 or 3 winners. Some days you will not have that and must be willing to walk away and come back another day.

Yes, true. The way I trade the price action, I'm only scalping out 4 ticks. So even on a very flat range-bound day, there's going to be at least 5 or 6 entries minimum.

-bbdsan

 
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  #40 (permalink)
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vertiqa20 View Post
bbdsan, what are your rules for making a trade, are you wanting to scalp the market? How do you have your charts set up?

Yes, I am scalping 4 ticks. I'm looking to enter with the trend after two-legged pullbacks (i.e. second entries) or failed countertrend moves (i.e. failed second entries). You can watch hundreds of free videos about the strategy I'm using on PATs Trading YouTube channel. I also bought Mack's Price Action Trading Manual for $99 (which was well worth it) and signed up for a year subscription to the premium section of his web site, priceactiontradingsystem.com. That was also well worth the $99 for a year.

I am not affiliated with PATS in any way, BTW. Mack is a saint as far as I'm concerned so I plug his web site whenever I can.

-bbdsan

 
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  #41 (permalink)
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vertiqa20 View Post
bbdsan, $311 on 55 trades is $5.65/trade, you may need to re-evaluate your system to not trade some of the noise. $5.65/trade will not allow you to be successful long term

Well, I take it as a sign that I need to get better at reading the price action and make fewer mistakes. That's why I continue to trade strictly on the simulator. However, I was pleased to finish the week in the green.

Also, consider I am only trading 1 contract. With the ES I could have easily been trading 10 contracts or even more. So, at 10 contracts I made more than $3000 in a week. I don't know about you but that would be plenty of income for my needs!

-bbdsan

 
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  #42 (permalink)
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DrewDown View Post
That's giving a lot to commissions. Nothing wrong with scalping, but it is hard to be profitable on a small scale. I scalp some when it's slow, but even then, I keep an eye on my MACD, a few different time frame charts, and a few moving averages to help pinpoint bigger moves of the day. It can be hard to stay zoned in on that goal looking at all the noise of 5 minute chart or an order book/DOM. I do use an order book, but I really only read it looking for areas of support and resistance. I am sure you already doing some of this, as you mentioned in your first post, but I just thought I would share some of what I have found.

I agree, it is a lot of commissions. At this point in my trading I'm focussed on attaining a positive expectancy. And for at least that one week on the simulator, I was able to do it. I'll remain on the simulator, honing my craft. My ability to read the price action is improving, along with my win/loss ratio. Also, as I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm only trading 1 contract. Like you said, it's on a small scale. But as I become more confident, I'll increase my size. It's very easy to increase my size to 10 contracts or even bigger in the ES if I want to, as I'm sure you know well.

Thanks for your comments. This is fun!

-bbdsan

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  #43 (permalink)
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It's been a while since I posted any charts so here are a few from my most recent day on the simulator. These are 2000 tick bars with a 21-bar EMA.

This first chart is zoomed out, showing almost the entire day (I was finished before 10 am):



In the chart below you can see my first 3 trades. The first long was a second entry long (SEL) after the break of the up-channel. I didn't count the break related to news (NFP). The second long was based on a failed second entry short (FSES). Prices then made a new high and started down. The third trade was a second entry short (SES).



In the next chart below you can see my next 6 trades. The first long was a SEL off the EMA. After that strong move up I thought there would be another big leg up. It failed almost immediately so I got out for a 3-tick loss. The second trade was a mistake. It wasn't a clear entry, I just thought prices would continue down that channel. That was an 8-tick loss. Next there was a bearish bar down from a double top and I got a quick short scalp. The fourth trade was a FSEL. It took a while but I eventually got my 4-tick scalp. The fifth and sixth trades were both shorts, a SES and a FSEL. I took 2 ticks on one and 6 ticks on the other when I exited.



The final chart below shows my last 2 trades of the session. A very quick easy SES and finally a FSEL.



A pretty good day and I was finished early, too. Gotta like that!

-bbdsan

 
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  #44 (permalink)
Atlanta, GA
 
 
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bbdsan View Post
Well, I take it as a sign that I need to get better at reading the price action and make fewer mistakes. That's why I continue to trade strictly on the simulator. However, I was pleased to finish the week in the green.

Also, consider I am only trading 1 contract. With the ES I could have easily been trading 10 contracts or even more. So, at 10 contracts I made more than $3000 in a week. I don't know about you but that would be plenty of income for my needs!

-bbdsan

Doesn't really matter how many contracts you are trading, You are not generating enough profit for the number of trades you are making. Not wanting to sound harsh but only trying to lead you to a better path. This one, in live trading will eat you alive. You are only sim trading now, trading live will be a different matter. And even if you could still sustain in a live market evironment, you will not survive with those kind of numbers. You need to ask yourself the question, "how many "big money scalper" have you heard of? All I am saying is that if you are wanting to truely become a better trader you may need to re-evaluate what you are doing now.

 
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  #45 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
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vertiqa20 View Post
Doesn't really matter how many contracts you are trading, You are not generating enough profit for the number of trades you are making. Not wanting to sound harsh but only trying to lead you to a better path. This one, in live trading will eat you alive. You are only sim trading now, trading live will be a different matter. And even if you could still sustain in a live market evironment, you will not survive with those kind of numbers. You need to ask yourself the question, "how many "big money scalper" have you heard of? All I am saying is that if you are wanting to truely become a better trader you may need to re-evaluate what you are doing now.

Firstly, thank you for your comments and suggestions. I'm really enjoying the interchange!

I'm confused when you say, "You are not generating enough profit for the number of trades you are making." My goal in trading is to generate a profit. I have no number-of-trades requirement. My understanding of system expectancy is that it's a function of win/loss ratio and risk/reward ratio and you measure it over a series of trades. Thus, when I tested my system over 55 trades and finished with a profit of $311, I demonstrated a positive expectancy. Even with my current, relatively low experience level with price action trading, I could trade like this week after week and make money.

If you are saying that trading replay data on a simulator is not the same as trading live data, I agree and disagree. I disagree in the sense that mechanically, it is exactly the same. The timing, the uncertainty, and the price movement are *exactly* the same. You're seeing the real data exactly as it played out, tick by tick, second by second. Unless you cheat and look at the day's chart ahead of time, the simulation is perfectly realistic. On the other hand, I would agree with you that psychologically it will "feel" different when it's real money on the line. That will be a discussion for later when I take the plunge into live trading.

If your point is that I need to improve my system expectancy, I would say not necessarily. While I do in fact want to improve my ability to read the price action and increase my win/loss ratio (which is why I'm still practicing on the simulator), my $5.65 per contract per trade is actually good enough. Even if my "batting average" never gets any better than that, I can still make money trading. In fact, a lot of money if I'm trading 10 contracts or more.

The question in my mind right now is, can I perform consistently? Day in and day out, can I achieve the win/loss ratio necessary to produce $5.65 per contract per trade? To answer that question, I need more data. I only really have 112 simulator trades under my belt. I'm not sure what the magic number is but I know that 112 is not enough. However, I do feel confident that I can do much better than $5.65. Given that my scalp target is always 4 ticks, the maximum is about $46 per contract per trade so obviously there's a lot of room for improvement. I'm happy that I have already demonstrated a major improvement from one week to the next. I lost $60 in 57 trades for the week of 3/24, then I made $311 in 55 trades for the week of 3/31.

Anyway, the journey continues. Thanks again for contributing to it.

-bbdsan

 
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  #46 (permalink)
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$5 expectancy is less than one tick.

Just to offer an alternate view, my expectancy is around $1200 per trade. You can find details in my journal.

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  #47 (permalink)
Hanover, Germany
 
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Big Mike View Post
$5 expectancy is less than one tick.

Just to offer an alternate view, my expectancy is around $1200 per trade. You can find details in my journal.

Sent from my phone

that's not per contract, though. bbdsan could do that - altough it'd take him approx. 250 contracts per trade
Not saying that 5 bucks per contract should be considered "enough" for a consistent edge in trading - nor saying that you aren't doing significantly better but got to be fair as to not misleading bbdsan with absolute numbers...

From the stats I remember you're probably somewhere in the 5 to 6 ticks per contracts area, aren't you, Mike?

Cheers
ST

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  #48 (permalink)
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I appreciate Mike jumping in, and as i stated, it doesn't matter how many contracts you are trading, $5/contract/trade will lead to disaster in the end. There are a lot of answers I could share with you about your current system in terms of it's weaknesses. But I think it's best that you figure some of them out for yourself. But I will ask you this question... What kind of long term success do you think you will have with commissions eating up %50 of your profits. The markets takes enough away, you don't need transaction cost taking the other. And let me point out again that those profits are in sim trading. There is a lot more to trading a system than just the win/loss ratio.

You made the statement that you don't think you need to improve your system expectancy, I had to smile on that one. Not sure how long you have been trading, but with those numbers you will not survive.

All I am trying to do is open your mind without giving you all the answers, but at the same time letting you know when you are headed down the wrong path. Mike has also given you a hint as well.

 
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  #49 (permalink)
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And just to share a little additional info for you, I am doing a price action system as well, basically a trend following system. With the ratios that I use it can remain profitable with a winning percentage as low as 30%, however, the actually win rate is about 50 to 55%. All of this in intra day trading, no positions held over night. And without giving you exact numbers if I had 55 trades with 38 winning position and 17 loser, where you made $311 with 1 contract, I would have been well over $5000 trading 1 contract. I would have taken me longer to make 55 trades because I am only taking 2 to 5 trades a day. Which brings me to another point. Sometime the best trade to take is "no trade at all". So though your winning percentage is better, you aren't making any money.

 
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  #50 (permalink)
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Scalpingtrader View Post
From the stats I remember you're probably somewhere in the 5 to 6 ticks per contracts area, aren't you, Mike?

$82 expectancy per contract, keep in mind this includes losing trades

Mike

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  #51 (permalink)
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Ok guys, gotta call a TIMEOUT!

Please try to understand something here: a positive expectancy is a positive expectancy. I don't care if it's 10 ticks per trade or 0.1 ticks per trade. Positive is positive! If I made 1000 trades with an average of 0.5 ticks profit per trade, including commissions, I've made money. That's just simple math. Period. The end.

Do I want to improve my expectancy? OF COURSE!!! Am I going to jump into live trading with a +0.5 tick expectancy after 55 trades on a simulator? HELL NO!!!

But if I do make 1000+ trades on the simulator, and +0.5 ticks profit per trade turns out to be consistent (i.e. "proven"), I can work with that. That is a profitable system. Obviously, it's not as good as what you all are doing but it is profitable.

Again, I believe I can do much better than +0.5 ticks per trade. But it will not be better than +4 ticks (before commissions), at least not for a long while. That is because I am trying to emulate Mack's trading style (priceactiontradingsystem.com) and his target is always 4 ticks. Combined with his very well developed ability to read the price action, his tiny 4-tick scalper's target enables him to have about a 90% win/loss ratio. Now, he also lets a couple contracts run sometimes. I've seen videos of him taking a trade with 10 contracts, scalping out on 8 of them at +4 ticks, then letting 2 contracts run to try to grab more profit. However for me personally, I'm in "phase 1" of my training. For now I'm only trading 1 contract and always scalping out at +4 ticks. I have to master scalping before I can move on to runners.

You all apparently have larger targets and that's fine. I'm sticking with the 4-tick scalper's target because I believe that is my best chance of taking a profit on most trades, even if I don't read the price action too well.

-bbdsan

 
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  #52 (permalink)
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Your argument makes no sense. Just because you can't increase your expectancy doesn't mean you can successfully justify your position.

I am replying only to help you. Since you think you know better then me, I am done wasting my time trying to help you

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  #53 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
Your argument makes no sense. Just because you can't increase your expectancy doesn't mean you can successfully justify your position.

I am replying only to help you. Since you think you know better then me, I am done wasting my time trying to help you

Sent from my phone

Same here, only trying to lead you down a better path. Did not want to bluntly say that what you are doing will fail, but "IT WILL" You bought a system that in the grand scheme of things you could have gotten free with some research and self study. I thought you might have honestly wanted to learn, but you don't seem willing to open your mind to see a better way. So with that like BIgMike I will say good luck.... as the wings have already fallen off your plane.

 
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  #54 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
Your argument makes no sense. Just because you can't increase your expectancy doesn't mean you can successfully justify your position.

I am replying only to help you. Since you think you know better then me, I am done wasting my time trying to help you

Sent from my phone

Hi Mike, I don't understand exactly how I did it but it seems I have managed to offend you. I certainly wasn't trying to do that and I regret if what I wrote upset you. I really do not think that I know better than you. I'm just a newbie trying to learn PA on a simulator. You're trading live, apparently doing very well.

I can see how my comments about my (and Mack's) 4-tick target may have sounded like I thought I knew better than you. That was not my intention and I really regret it if that's how it was perceived. I wasn't trying to tell you or anyone else how to trade. I just believe that we all have to figure out what works best for ourselves. I am aware that lots of traders have larger targets than 4 ticks. That's awesome and I'm glad you've found something that works really well for you. My mileage varies. Reading the PA is really difficult for me, so I need the easier 4-tick target. It works well for me while I am still in my "price action infancy". That's all I was trying to say.

As far as the whole positive expectancy thing, I regret the tone of my comments. I got a little triggered after what I perceived as a lot of negative feedback here. I was just trying to explain my understanding of positive expectancy but I guess I have it wrong. I was thinking of it kind of like a batting average. I was thinking that if my average trade yields a profit, then that would be a successful system in the sense that, on average, I would be making profits instead of incurring losses. I was thinking that if I could repeat my 55-trade-$311-profit-in-one-week performance consistently, week after week, that I would be happy with that, especially considering I could scale up to multiple contracts. If you are moved to continue helping me, would you be willing to explain the error in my thinking above, rather than using blanket statements like, "Your argument makes no sense."?

In my post, I never said that I can't increase my expectancy. Quite the opposite. I am absolutely trying to increase my expectancy. That's why I'm on the simulator for hours every day. That's why I post charts showing the trades I made, winners and losers.

I have chosen to spend many hours here on your site, instead of precious time on the simulator. I was hoping for some support, as in comments on the charts and trades I've posted, some insight into how I can read the price action better. What I've gotten is comments like, "live trading will eat you alive", "you will not survive", and ambiguous suggestions like "you may need to re-evaluate what you are doing", "you are headed down the wrong path" and, "I could share with you about your current system in terms of it's weaknesses. But I think it's best that you figure some of them out for yourself."

I have also put myself out there in this journal, openly and honestly exposing the hard time I was having. Even on the simulator I was having blowout days! Then, as I practiced and learned I started to show improvement. I wrote about having a $60 loss one week and then a $311 profit the next. I was trying to celebrate my progress and what I got here was a whole lot of "that's not good enough."

And now, if you'll excuse me, I have a date with Ninja Trader.

-bbdsan

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  #55 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Whew, no new drama for now. That's a relief. I've been hard at work on the simulator. I finished another week on replay.

4/7 -$89.00, 15 wins, 10 losses (I was experimenting with breakout-pullback entries. I didn't do well with them.)
4/8 -$272.94, 13 wins, 10 losses (Rough day! I kept trying to pick tops, several counter trend trades that lost.)
4/9 +$216.22, 10 wins, 3 losses (Better! Focused on what prices are doing, not what I think they'll do.)
4/10 +$407.36, 16 wins, 3 losses (Monster day! Little tricky at first, then I got several good scalps on a big down trend.)
4/11 +$337.74, 16 wins, 5 losses (Crappy start but I was able to turn it around nicely.)

Week of 4/7 +$599.38, 70 wins, 31 losses (all trades were 1 contract).

Despite what some may think of my results, I am pleased to have another winning week on the simulator under my belt. I got off to a bad start with those two losing days. But I know what I was doing wrong and it was a good learning experience.

For anyone who is curious, my standard risk/reward ratio is 2 to 1. That is, my stop is 8 ticks while my target is 4 ticks. Sometimes I move my stop a tick or two closer. Sometimes I will bail on a position before my target or stop is hit based on the price action. It may seem strange to have a stop larger than my target. It seemed wrong to me at first, too. Obviously I have to have a win/loss ratio better than 66.67% for such a strategy to be profitable. So far, I have managed to do that and stay profitable. I attribute that success to the ease with which I can judge the price action well enough to get 4 ticks. Even a novice like me can usually read it well enough to scalp out a measly 4 ticks.

I'll post some charts later.

-bbdsan

 
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  #56 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Charts from 4/11








-bbdsan

 
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  #57 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

I traded a short week on the simulator (replay data):

4/14/2014 +$253.72, 10 wins, 3 losses
4/15/2014 +$334.10, 13 wins, 2 losses
4/16/2014 +$303.80, 16 wins, 4 losses
4/17/2014 -$399.76, 9 wins, 9 losses
Week of 4/14/2014 +$491.86, 48 wins, 18 losses

I screwed myself on that last day. I actually started the day with a couple wins. Then I got tricked on an entry and the wheels fell off after that. At least I still finished the week with a profit.

Lately I have also been trading live data on the simulator. I'm not waking up early enough to trade the whole session but I've been able to get a few trades in:

4/9/2015 +$41.22, 9 wins, 4 losses
4/10/2015 +$139.32, 3 wins, 0 losses
4/13/2015 +$5.46, 5 wins, 4 losses

It's annoying that I can't "fast forward" the PA like I can with replay data. But I figure it's good to get some practice in this manner. I was somewhat satisfied with the results. I know I can do better and so I keep practicing, but at least I made money instead of losing it.

-bbdsan

 
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  #58 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

I completed another week on the simulator. I messed up the replay feature on one of the days so it's not included.

4/21/14 -$124.84, 8 wins, 6 losses
4/22/14 +$242.96, 8 wins, 1 loss
4/24/14 +$235.92, 14 wins, 4 losses
4/25/14 +$341.22, 11 wins, 2 losses
Week of 4/21 +$695.26, 41 wins, 13 losses

I'm feeling more comfortable with the price action and I've learned to focus better on what price is doing *right now*. My most common mistake has been failing to draw in my short-term trend lines, the result being a counter-trend trade before the short-term trend has broken and pushed for a new extreme. Range days are the toughest for me. On a good trend day I do better, but still occasionally make the mistake of taking a 1st entry.

Here are some charts from 4/25:






-bbdsan

 
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  #59 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

I have completed two more weeks on the simulator:

4/28/14 +$555.54, 14 wins, 2 losses
4/29/14 +$5.54, 11 wins, 5 losses
4/30/14 +$32.36, 10 wins, 6 losses
5/1/14 +$67.96, 7 wins, 2 losses
5/2/14 +$371.52, 8 wins, 0 losses
Week of 4/28 +$1027.38, 50 wins, 16 losses

4/28/14 doesn't really count because I restarted the day on the simulator. I made some mistakes early on in the session and my psychology got the better of me. I basically started goofing off, not drawing any trend lines, not waiting for entry setups, trading by "feel". It was an absolute mess so I wiped the slate clean and restarted the day.

On one hand I think this is cheating. On the other hand it was a useful exercise to go back and re-trade the day. I drew my trend lines and waited for the proper entry setups. Regardless of what you call it, it happened and I can't go back to change what I did. However, I could change what I would do from that point forward.

For this next week I focused on a goal of trying to make $100 and then "quitting" for the day. I like this idea because ultimately, I want to trade just a couple hours each day. If I can consistently make $100 a day trading one contract, then I can increase my lot size and make more. It might not be the best way but I wanted to experiment with the idea on the simulator. I also did not allow any more restarts.

5/5/14 +$32.20, 4 wins, 1 loss (I was up $148.26 but then my last trade was a 9 tick loser)
5/6/14 +$110.84, 7 wins, 3 losses
5/7/14 +$139.32, 3 wins, 0 losses (finished my trading in just under 60 minutes)
5/8/14 +$62.58, 5 wins, 2 losses (I was down about $80, fought my way back and quit)
5/9/14 -$71.28, 8 wins, 4 losses (tough day, I was down a lot more but I actually made a decent comeback)
Week of 5/5 +$273.66, 27 wins, 10 losses

That's it for now. I'll continue practicing on replay data although I have been trading a little live data recently (demo account). I'm itching to try out my developing skills in the real world, but worried I'll get spanked, too. I've funded a micro-sized account ($600) that should be ready in about a week. It's enough to trade one contract only, but not enough to hurt me if I blow it out. If I lose it all it would just be like a bad night on the poker table. Plus you need at least $400 to day trade 1 contract so I don't think I actually would be able to blow it out, even if I tried.

-bbdsan

 
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  #60 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

As mentioned in my previous post, my latest strategy is to go for $100 profit (trading 1 contract) then "quit" for the day. Ideally that equates to 3 wins, 0 losses and $139.32 in profits (after commissions). One of the nice things about this strategy is that I often finish my trading early in the day. Obviously I won't bat 3 and 0 every day but I've been able to do it a few times recently. If I do have a loss (or two) then I keep trading until I get back up over $100 profit (or at least breakeven). Here are my latest results, with screenshots:

5/12/14: +$139.32, 3 wins, 0 losses



5/13/14: +$139.32, 3 wins, 0 losses



5/14/14: +$140.64, 5 wins, 1 loss



5/15/14: +$144.70, 4 wins, 1 loss



I'm pleased with how everything is going these days. I'm learning a lot, just trading on the simulator then reviewing my trades at the end of the day and watching Mack's "chart lesson" on YouTube. I like trading the early morning hours so much better than the late morning and afternoon. It just seems like the price action is a lot more predictable, and you get more movement.

-bbdsan

 
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  #61 (permalink)
Canada
 
 
Posts: 16 since Apr 2013
Thanks: 49 given, 6 received

Good stuff. Like this thread.

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  #62 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

I've been trading live data recently, using a CQG demo account with a new platform, Multicharts.net. I'm pleased with the results. Here are some recent results (not including commissions) with screenshots:

4/27/2015 +$150, 3 wins, 0 losses


4/28/2015 -$37.50, 7 wins, 4 losses


4/29/2015 +$400, 6 wins, 1 loss


4/30/2015 +$237.50, 7 wins, 2 losses


5/1/2015 +$162.50, 6 wins, 1 loss


5/4/2015 +$0.00, 5 wins, 2 losses (started the day with 2 losses due to CQG tick data change)


5/5/2015 +$150, 3 wins, 0 losses (500 tick chart now, instead of 2000 tick)


5/6/2015 +$125, 11 wins, 6 losses (bounced between the 500 tick and 800 tick)


5/7/2015 +$137.50, 4 wins, 1 loss (first day trading 6000 volume chart)


The recent data change not withstanding, I've been doing pretty well. I feel ready to start trading real money next week, probably. It is a micro-size account and I'll be trading single contracts only. We'll see how it goes.

-bbdsan

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  #63 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Note the time of this post. Here in California it's about 7:10 am. I'm finished with my trading. Hit my target and I'm getting my weekend started early.

5/8/2015 +10 ticks, 3 wins, 0 losses


-bbdsan

 
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  #64 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

This week I am trading live, real money.

Yesterday didn't go well. I felt okay but I didn't read the PA very well and I made some mistakes.

5/11/2015 -19 ticks, 2 wins, 3 losses


I managed to shrink my micro-sized account to an even smaller size, LOL! My balance went below $400 so I couldn't take any more trades for the rest of the session.

AMP Clearing normally has a min margin of $400 but if you accept larger commissions they'll let you day trade with only $300. I made the necessary election so I could try some more trades today.

5/12/2015 +11 ticks, 3 wins


I was glad to make a little comeback and live to trade tomorrow.

-bbdsan

 
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  #65 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Don't remember if I mentioned this, but I'm now trading a 6000 contract volume chart (each bar is 6000 contracts traded).

This week I continued live real-money trading. My last post showed results for Monday and Tuesday. Here are the results for the rest of the week:

5/13/2015 -17 ticks, 4 wins, 4 losses


I started with two wins but obviously struggled after that with 3 full 8-tick losses. The bias was down so I was trying to get short but the market was actually in a correction. Then I finally got long just a couple ticks below the high of the correction when it started heading back down. After those losses my NLV was under $300 so I couldn't take any more trades.

Now, I'm not proud of what I did next but I'll just be honest. I put some more money on the table. Remember, I originally funded this account with just $600. That didn't really give me much wiggle room. So this time I wired $800 into the account. I was astonished at how quickly the transaction went through! I was actually able to get a couple more trades in before the end of the session. But I only managed to get 2 ticks back.

5/14/2015 +6 ticks, 4 wins, 3 losses


While it was a winning day, I was somewhat disappointed with my trading on Thursday. My first trade was a win but for my second trade I went long too early, on a first entry. I used a slightly smaller stop than usual, based on the low of my signal bar and got stopped out for a 6 tick loss at the exact bottom of that swing. Right after that I got long at the second entry and actually doubled up to a 2 contract position. I should have just taken a 4-tick scalp on both contracts but I tried to get cute with one, trying to get a runner. Then it dropped down and I ended up taking a 4-tick loss when I could have just taken my 4-tick win. Then I did almost the exact same thing right after that. 2 contract position, 4-tick win followed by a 2-tick loss this time. At that point I was even on the day (not including commissions). My last trade was a really nice failed 2nd entry short trap. I decided to let it run a bit. I could have managed it better, eventually getting out with a 6-tick profit.

5/15/2015 +22 ticks, 8 wins, 2 losses


Pretty good day today.



These first two trades really demonstrate one of the things that I like about this strategy - there's a lot of room for error. Even a PA klutz like me can pick entries that survive an 8-tick stop and hit a 4-tick target. Usually...






I ended the week down $108.66 including commissions. Not great but at least I made a decent comeback yesterday and today. I'll be back at it next week.

-bbdsan

 
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  #66 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Lackluster day today. I made some money but not as much as I should have. But hey, at least I didn't lose money, right?

5/18/2015 +5 ticks, 4 wins, 1 loss


Early on it looked to be a range day. For my first trade I got short near the top of the range. I was almost immediately uncomfortable with the position. I hadn't waited for a proper setup to enter the trade. I just somewhat indiscriminately went short after two bearish bars formed at the top of the range and there was a small pullback. Prices went against me 3 ticks and when it moved back down I bailed with a 1-tick profit.

I was happy with my second trade. There was a failed 2nd entry long setup and I used a stop to enter the trade. It never went more than a tick against me. However, I noticed area of support (brown dashed line) and decided to take profit at just 3 ticks. Turns out I could have taken 4 ticks but I didn't know that would happen and I didn't want it to be a 4-tick failure.

My third trade was the only loser today. I was watching for confirmation of a down trend line that wasn't quite as steep as the one I have drawn in. That bearish bar to the left of my third entry seemed to confirm the down trend and I got short. When I look now though I realize I took a 1st entry. I needed to wait for a 2nd entry. My entry bar closed on its high and I got out with a 5-tick loss.

My fourth trade was a pretty standard range play. It was a 2nd entry on a bigger picture. Plus it followed a 2-legged move from the bottom of the range up to the top. It ended up being my only full scalp of the day. Ugh!

I missed two nice moves up for reasons I mentioned directly on the chart.

My fifth and final trade today was a failed 2nd entry short / trap. The market was moving incredibly slowly for this trade. I bailed prematurely on this trade for reasons I mentioned directly on the chart.

So that was it. I'm not particularly happy with my trading today but it could have been worse, of course. I'll be back at it tomorrow.

-bbdsan

 
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  #67 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

I have completed another week on the simulator (replay mode).

5/19/2014 +$7.28, 8 wins, 4 losses (really struggled but managed to break even)
5/20/2014 +$162.86, 6 wins, 1 loss
5/21/2014 +$121.84, 6 wins, 2 losses
5/22/2014 +$153.88, 5 wins, 1 loss
5/23/2014 +$93.32, 7 wins, 2 losses
Week of 5/19/2014 +$539.18, 32 wins, 10 losses







-bbdsan

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  #68 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Ugh, pretty brutal week for me! I continue to feel good about my ability to read the PA and choose good setups but I've been making a couple critical psychological mistakes:

1) Trading more than one contract - a couple times this week as a trade was going against me I added on. This led to a couple large losses.
2) Using a stop larger than 8 ticks - I set my stops based on the price action (a tick or two outside my signal bar) but my max should always be 8 ticks. Yet, this week I had a 10-tick loss, a 13-tick loss and even a 15-tick loss.

I cannot continue making these mistakes or my account will be gone. So for next week I will focus really hard on always trading only 1 contract and never having a stop bigger than 8 ticks.

In the meantime I am using the long holiday weekend to get some practice on the simulator. During practice sessions I'll focus on improving my read of PA in two areas:

1) Don't trade 1st entries
2) Always draw short term and long term trend lines

Here are my results for last week:

5/18/2015 +$44.90, 4 wins, 1 loss
5/19/2015 -$695.40, 9 wins, 8 losses
5/20/2015 +$114.44, 3 wins
5/21/2015 +$37.86, 5 wins, 2 losses
5/22/2015 -$274.28, 7 wins, 7 losses
Week of 5/18/2015 -$772.48, 28 wins, 18 losses

And some charts (with embedded comments):










Hopefully others had a better week than me!

-bbdsan

 
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  #69 (permalink)
Denver CO/USA
 
 
Posts: 5 since Sep 2014
Thanks: 1 given, 4 received

I tried to PM you but apparently you need to have 5 posts before you can PM anyone. You are correct in your statement about expectancy but omitted one important piece, trade frequency. The two go hand in hand. But a low expectancy is no different than a market maker for example. Little singles, constantly with no major drawdowns, allowing you to put size on and then make good money. But you need help and I wanted to share some off line help as I really don't like spending much time on forums. If you can PM me with an email address I'm happy to share more.

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  #70 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

I have completed a few more days on the simulator:

5/27/2014 +$139.44, 3 wins, 0 losses


5/28/2014 +$125.36, 5 wins, 2 losses


5/29/2014 +$71.84, 5 wins, 3 losses


5/30/2014 -$13.72, 7 wins, 4 losses




6/2/2014 +$89.80, 6 wins, 4 losses


6/3/2014 +141.74, 9 wins, 4 losses


Hope everyone has a good week.

-bbdsan

 
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  #71 (permalink)
Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
 
 
Posts: 3 since Apr 2015
Thanks: 0 given, 7 received

Really like how you log all your trades and post your charts. I reviewed a lot of your entries today. I think you have a good sense of how price moves but probably need better control over your risk. I'd strongly discourage using wide stops and doubling down on a losing trade. Based on your results, it's clear that you manage to extract profits from the market time and again. However, your losses overwhelm those profits. I'd suggest trading sim for now on one contract with no more than 5 ticks of risk. If it must be 8 ticks, your reward should be proportionately higher. Focus on improving your entry points perhaps by using a minute time frame (377 tick, 233 tick, 144 tick).

Hope that helps!

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  #72 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Thanks for the tip and words of encouragement. I am trading quite a bit on the simulator but dabbling in the live market a little too. You're absolutely right though, I simply cannot take those big losses or double up. Working on that today. It's way too hard to come back from one of those big losses with my little 4-tick scalps.

I'll post some charts from today's trading a little later.

-bbdsan

 
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  #73 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Today it was like I was malfunctioning all day! Right from the start on my very first trade, I clicked the wrong button on my platform. I took myself out of what would have been a winning scalp, instead taking a 1 tick loss.

Undeterred I kept at it and did manage to eek out a small profit today. However, 3 of my 5 wins were longs. On a day like today, with the market down over 25 points, why the hell was I getting long at all, ever?!?! On the one really nice short setup that I took, I ended up second guessing the trade and closed it with only 1 tick of profit. I could have ridden that short for 36 ticks!!!! Then I kept passing on different short setups for various reasons. When I finally took another short it was 1 tick above the low of the day at that point! What?!?! Anyway, it did drop further right away but my target order wasn't filled and I had to sweat a 6-tick pullback. Lucky for me no one other than me was buying today and it worked back down to where I could close it for 3 ticks profit.

I'm thinking I was victim of more psychological trouble today. I feel good about my ability to read the PA but it's like I'm still self-sabotaging. At least I didn't use any stops bigger than 8 ticks today and I didn't double up. Those are my two goals right now.

On to the charts:







Until tomorrow...

-bbdsan

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  #74 (permalink)
SD, California
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader
Broker: Interactive Broker
Trading: ES, NQ
 
Posts: 62 since Oct 2013
Thanks: 81 given, 56 received

Nice journal bbdsan. I am just wonder what stop strategy are you using? Seems your target is 4 ticks. You set a stop larger than that? (because I see in one your chart the price went against you by more than 4 ticks but didn't stop you out.)

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  #75 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

One stupid counter trend trade not withstanding, I'm pretty happy with my trading today. My dad is in the hospital after surgery yesterday, so I rearranged my schedule a little such that I could go visit him. I was up early and trading at 5:30. I took a break from about 9 to 10 for my run. It worked out great because the market was going nowhere for that hour but setup a nice long entry right when I got back. Then I called it a day at noon, an hour before the close.

Here are my charts for the day with some comments:

5/27/2015 +$100.36, 5 wins, 2 losses





-bbdsan

 
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  #76 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received


dix173 View Post
Nice journal bbdsan. I am just wonder what stop strategy are you using? Seems your target is 4 ticks. You set a stop larger than that? (because I see in one your chart the price went against you by more than 4 ticks but didn't stop you out.)

Correct, I have a 4-tick target and a max 8-tick stop. I learned this from Mack at priceactiontradingsystem.com and his many YouTube videos (PATs Trading). I understand it seems backwards. At least, it seemed that way to me at first. But what I've learned is it allows me to have a very high win / loss ratio, which makes up for the backwards risk / reward ratio. I really like the strategy and it seems to work well, even for a complete amateur like me.

Also, keep in mind that I'm only trading 1 contract. Eventually, as I get better at this I'll start trading 4 or 5 contracts. I'll scalp my 4 ticks on most of the contracts then hang on to 1 contract for a potential runner.

-bbdsan

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  #77 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Well, I had another blow-up yesterday. I've reviewed my chart and Mack's videos a few times now. I definitely made some mistakes with respect to reading the price action. I didn't have enough experience (no experience, really) trading a 2-tiered range, which is what yesterday turned out to be. To make matters even worse, I broke my own position management rules on one trade, letting it go from +7 to -8. I didn't take the 4-tick scalp. I didn't move my stop to entry+1 after it went 5 ticks my way. It was pretty demoralizing.

By the time I was in my last trade of the day I was already down over $300. I just kind of gave up. I basically just let the trade play out without any stop. It went 3 ticks my way on 3 separate occasions but never could reach my 4-tick target order. I was really frustrated and I had already lost too much money to be able to trade another day without adding some more funds to my account. So I just let it go. Eventually my broker forced the issue and closed out the trade (which, adding insult to injury, cost me an extra $25).

Here are some charts of the disaster:






So, there I was, down to $68.71. I originally deposited $600, then reloaded for another $800. I'd lost almost the entire $1400 and I didn't know what to do. I knew that I wouldn't quit trading. I knew that I've had many profitable days both on the simulator and in the live market. I started thinking of the money I'd lost already as being 1) kind of like a tuition payment and 2) a very small amount compared to what I could be making in a few months when I have more practice and skills.

I thought about switching to simulator only. And I like that idea because I can get a lot of practice without paying any more "tuition". However, it seems like my biggest problem is the psychological part. As helpful as simulator practice is, it doesn't do much for my psychological issues. I need real world experience and practice to improve my mental game. Long story short, I decided to reload one final time. This time for $1600.

Why $1600? Well, for one it rounds out my "tuition" to an even $3000. Second, it allows me to trade up to 4 contracts per trade. That was the plan, at least. When the rubber met the road this morning, however, I just didn't feel comfortable trading more than a single contract. I'm glad about that, too. I mean, my activity thus far really borders on compulsive gambling. I'm sure there are many who would think of it that way. I'm still thinking of it as "tuition" and I can get a lot more education for my money if I'm only trading singles.

I could be completely full of shit, and just donating my money. I don't want to lose $3000, of course. But it won't hurt me, financially. There's a decent chance that I'll never have to reload again for the rest of my life. And $3000 ain't much considering that if I can just do as well as I did today, on average, trading 10 contracts, I can make $3000+ in 2 days.

Speaking of today, here are my charts:







So, we'll see what happens. I'll take a look at the trading psychology section of this forum and see if I can find anything helpful. I do believe that it's necessary to put myself in the live market (as cheaply as possible, i.e. single contract trades) to really be able to make any headway on my psychological issues. I don't think the simulator will help me improve in that respect.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

-bbdsan

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  #78 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
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Today started poorly but I was able to stage a decent comeback.






-bbdsan

 
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  #79 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
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I've been on vacation so I haven't posted in a while. I took my laptop with me last week and traded every day. I almost completely destroyed my account last week and finished the job on Monday this week. Of the $3000 I put in my account I'm down to $224. So I am back on the simulator.

My main issue continues to be making bets instead of trades. I don't have the necessary patience to wait on the right setups. I also get stubborn after a losing trade and start counter trend trading, trying to will the market to do what I think it should do. These psychological issues are compounded by my tendency to misread the price action due to my very limited experience.

So for now, I'll be trading live data and replay data on the simulator only. I will not put any more money into my account until I've made $3000 in my sim account.

Here are a bunch of charts from last week and this week:

6/2/2015 -$860.70, 16 wins, 12 losses






6/3/2015 -$45.76, 9 wins, 4 losses





6/4/2015 +$123.42, 3 wins, 1 loss


6/5/2015 -$643.46, 12 wins, 6 losses







6/8/2015 -$328.16, 3 wins, 5 losses

6/9/2015 (Simulator) +$141.38, 5 wins, 1 loss


That's it for now. I made $141.38 on the simulator today. Only $2858.62 to go

-bbdsan

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  #80 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
Thanks: 24 given, 74 received

Day 2 back on the simulator and unfortunately I gave some of yesterday's profits back. I'm very disappointed because I should have made a killing on a nice trend day like today. I watched most of the good long entries pass me by this morning and then proceeded to get chopped up in the afternoon. In desperation I broke the rules near the end of the session. I doubled down on a short position. It worked out for me and I made a good profit on that trade but that kind of shit usually doesn't work. So overall I'm pretty unhappy with my trading today. I'll give it another try tomorrow and I'm not trading on Friday. At this rate it'll take a few months to hit my $3000 goal. <sigh>

6/10/2015 -$52.80, 8 wins, 7 losses







-bbdsan

 
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  #81 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
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Day 3 was very straight forward. I was patient and waited for good setups. I got my 3 wins and called it a day at about 8 am.

I played with 5 contracts today, scalping out on 4 and letting the 5th run, just for the fun of it and the experience. You can see on my first trade I got my scalp plus 12 ticks on the runner. Prices came back and stopped my runner at +1 tick on the other two trades. I made $775 total not including commissions trading 5 contracts. However, for the purposes of my $3000 simulator goal, I'm counting all of my trades as if they were just single contracts.

6/11/2015 +$139.44, 3 wins


-bbdsan

 
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  #82 (permalink)
Denver CO/USA
 
 
Posts: 5 since Sep 2014
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When you "trade" via replay mode like in MultiCharts, two things are not accurate. First, speed, you cannot replay the day in the speed based on timestamps. But more importantly, when you buy or sell this way, you are not hitting the bid or ask so to be true to yourself, you need to take two ticks per trade out of your results. Limit orders for example only fill if you trade through and many times price will not trade through. Same with entry and if you use market orders then you are always at least 1 tick worse based on the bid / ask. You should trade a live paper account. That's more realistic than trading replay mode which is not intended for how you are using it.

 
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  #83 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
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Thanks, TonyP

I agree and in fact I am trading the live market using a Multicharts demo account. My most recent post is from this morning's live market. Prices traded through my exit orders on all 3 trades today, the last one by just 1 tick lol.

To get extra practice and experience I am also trading replay data from last year, using Ninja Trader.

Thanks for your comments.

-bbdsan

 
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  #84 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
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I had a great long weekend at camp with my family and totally overslept this morning.

By the time I logged on the market was moving up in a channel. I went long on a 2nd entry, which was aggressive considering it was so close to the highs. I gave it some extra room and it backed up right to the trend line. I got long a 2nd lot. I took my scalp at +3 ticks on the original long and +9 ticks on the 2nd long. I'm still playing with the idea of trading 5 contracts since I'm on the simulator (although for the purposes of my $3000 goal I'm treating all trades as single-contract). However, my runners were stopped out pretty quickly.

6/15/2015 +$142.96, 2 wins


I probably won't be trading much this week as I'll be out of town for business.

-bbdsan

 
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  #85 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
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I traded live data yesterday (demo account) for about 45 minutes before I left my hotel, then another 30 min while waiting for my flight at the airport. I made 2 trades, both were double-ups, both winners. I'm now almost $600 in the black, working towards my $3000 goal.

6/19/2015 +$223.42, 2 wins


-bbdsan

 
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  #86 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
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I had a good morning and hit my target (3 wins) by 8:30 am.

6/22/2015 +$139.44, 3 wins


With my recent success I began entertaining thoughts of switching back to real money. But I quickly ruled that out. I need to demonstrate the patience it takes to trade successfully. The first step is to stick to my goal - make $3000 in my demo account trading 1 contract. I just have to be patient and reach that goal. Then I can allow myself to put a little more money in my account and try the real thing again.

I've been listening to an audio book, "Outliers", which explores success and achievement. One prerequisite that is covered extensively is the huge amount of practice that's necessary to truly master something. It's 10,000 hours. I've been keeping that daunting number in mind as I slowly develop as a trader. I don't think I need to be a "master" trader in order to make money. But I know I need more practice and experience than I have currently. I have no idea how long it will take me to hit $3000 in profits in my demo account. Hopefully it will be far less than 10,000 hours lol.

We'll just have to wait and see.

-bbdsan

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  #87 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
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I set myself back significantly yesterday and today. I was more than a quarter of the way to my $3,000 goal but now I'm actually in the red $158. It's a combination of not being patient, looking for too many entries, and trading what I think will happen vs. what I'm actually seeing on the chart. Plus today I was in a double-size long position and had a chance to get out at +3 ticks, perhaps even +4 (prices never ticked through). I was long 1 contract at 2109 and a 2nd at 2108. I had my scalp target order at 2110 and prices hit 2109.50 several times. I should have just taken what I could get but instead I just let the position ride, unprotected. I left to do my morning run and a couple errands. I came back and had to exit at 2101.50. Yikes!

Clearly I still need a lot more experience and practice, as well as some psychological work. To my credit, at least I am doing all of this in a demo account and not putting any of my real money at risk.

Some interesting conversations with my girlfriend and dad today. My girlfriend understands what I'm doing and believes in me. My dad, on the other hand, has no concept of price action. He thinks price movement is random and it's impossible to predict any price movements on a consistent basis. Therefore he thinks of trading as gambling. I obviously have a completely different set of beliefs. I believe it is possible to predict very small price movements (4 ticks or more), intraday, with 80-90% accuracy. I'm not good enough to do it yet, but I'm learning and that's why I'm still in a demo account. I won't be able to change his beliefs and he won't be able to change mine. It will be nice, however, to show him the annual statement from my trading account in a few years.

There's a guy I know of, one of Mack's followers like me (priceactiontradingsystem.com) who's been doing this style of trading for a while now. I'm not sure how long it took him to get to his current skill level but he's trading 60 contracts at a time! I watched one of Mack's YouTube videos () and the guy had emailed Mack a screen shot of his chart and P&L for the day. The dude was up over $29,000 ON THE DAY! I'm still trying to wrap my head around that one but it just shows you what's possible with this. Once I get good enough at reading the PA and patiently waiting for good setups, there's no reason at all that I can't make that kind of money. All you have to do is trade more contracts and keep some runners for extra profits when a trade happens to take off.

But for now that's a ways off, obviously. I have to learn to sit up before I learn to crawl. And I have to learn to crawl before I learn to walk. And I .... you get the idea.

Here are my charts for yesterday and today:

6/23/2015 -$256.68, 5 wins, 4 losses


6/24/2015 -$681.68, 5 wins, 4 losses


-bbdsan

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  #88 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
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I continue to struggle a bit but I did a little better yesterday and today. At least I was profitable.

6/25/2015 +$90.16, 13 wins, 4 losses


I had a hard time trading the middle of the day today. On the one hand, prices were swinging above and below the EMA. The PA was rangy and I was trading it as such. On the other hand there was a downward bias. Prices were clearly making lower highs and lower lows. But I didn't pay attention to that. I didn't draw the yellow trend channel until it was too late and I had spent the entire time trading exclusively on the long side. I got 2 wins but also took 1 full size loss trying to get long in a down trend. Not only that, but I missed at least 2 nice short setups, if not more.

6/26/2015 +$89.01, 9 wins, 3 losses


As far as my $3000 goal, I am back in the black. Yes indeed, I'm up $21.13! Got a little ways to go, lol.

-bbdsan

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  #89 (permalink)
Illinois
 
Experience: Intermediate
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bbdsan View Post
I was long 1 contract at 2109 and a 2nd at 2108. I had my scalp target order at 2110 and prices hit 2109.50 several times. I should have just taken what I could get but instead I just let the position ride, unprotected. I left to do my morning run and a couple errands. I came back and had to exit at 2101.50. Yikes!

So, you don't use stops? If your targets are that small, it seems not having stops would really make it easy to give away all your profits with one bad moment where the market moves very quickly against you.

 
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  #90 (permalink)
Vancouver Canada
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Investor RT & Ninja
Broker: IB & IQ DTN
Trading: ES
 
Posts: 1,106 since Dec 2014
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Hope you take my comment as constructive but I will shut up if it's not helpful. I am also a beginner trading ES but keen to share my experience in the name of this forum's true spirit.


bbdsan View Post
I was long 1 contract at 2109 and a 2nd at 2108. I had my scalp target order at 2110

I see that you added 1 more to a loser. I used to do that a lot and I found that strategy unhelpful for me ( unless I have a plan BEFORE my 1st entry). Usually I end up holding on to them for too long and hoping for a turn around. I don't know your methodology but thought it's worth mentioning to help you think about entry and exit plan.


bbdsan View Post
To my credit, at least I am doing all of this in a demo account and not putting any of my real money at risk.

Yes, it's a good thing, in some ways, that there is no real money at risk but also be aware that it significantly INCREASES the learning period. I followed BigMike's advice and tried less risky instrument but with real money for 2 months. In my case, it's SPY ETF. Even with 100 units, 10 points ES move is worth 100 dollars without commissions. Again worth considering as the emotions I experienced are COMPLETELY different when real money was involved.


bbdsan View Post
My girlfriend understands what I'm doing and believes in me.

It's great to have a partner who is supportive. That's is BIG advantage for you.


bbdsan View Post
My dad, on the other hand, has no concept of price action. He thinks price movement is random and it's impossible to predict any price movements on a consistent basis. Therefore he thinks of trading as gambling. bbdsan

I am afraid he is more closer to truth than yourself. I also think your goal of getting 80 -90% accuracy is too ambitious. But the good news is, it's not necessary to be correct more often. Infact, BigMike is correct only 50% of the times but he makes sure that winners are lot bigger than the losers. I also had a similar belief like yours few months ago but seeing more and more successful traders like Tigertrader focusing on milking their winners rather than increasing the number of wins.

Yes, it's gambling but not in the traditional sense. You calculate the odds and take a risk. It's no differenct from crossing the road, taking a new job, getting married to a girl who I think I love etc... As a Physician, when I prescribe a medication, I think about the odds of it working, not working and causing side effects. Some would call that gambling as I have no way of predicting who will benefit or not.



bbdsan View Post
There's a guy I know of, ..... The dude was up over $29,000 ON THE DAY! ... All you have to do is trade more contracts and keep some runners for extra profits when a trade happens to take off.

Yes, trading has huge potential and that attracts lot of intelligent and motivated people like you and me. However it also involves lot of risk. For instance, your long trade above at 2108.5 and exit at 2101.5 means 7 points loss for a potential 1 point (4 ticks) gain. That means, even if you have a 29k profit day, you could have 200k loss day. That's where risk management comes. I know that, that's my Achilles point. Infact I am currently battling the very same issue as I journaled recently. I went short at 2080 and sat through the whole upswing upto 2125 and still holding it. Hopefully I will also make that kind of money but not by risking 100s of thousands.


bbdsan View Post
I have to learn to sit up before I learn to crawl. And I have to learn to crawl before I learn to walk.

You are absolutely right. Welcome to the crawling club. We are not going to keep crawling for a long time.


..

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  #91 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
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gumdr0p View Post
So, you don't use stops? If your targets are that small, it seems not having stops would really make it easy to give away all your profits with one bad moment where the market moves very quickly against you.

No, I use stops, but sometimes I screw up. This was one of those times.

 
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  #92 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
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bbdsan View Post
No, I use stops, but sometimes I screw up. This was one of those times.

I have a very analytical mind. I'm a mechanical engineer with a master's degree from Stanford. I'm used to solving puzzles and getting the right answer. Sometimes I get married to the idea that prices are going to go up or down because I'm "smarter than the market" and I have correctly solved the PA puzzle. Obviously, when I allow myself to get in this frame mind, it usually doesn't work out well. Obviously I am never smarter than the market. So, I need to work on checking my ego. Check myself before I wreck myself. :-)

 
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  #93 (permalink)
Illinois
 
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bbdsan View Post
No, I use stops, but sometimes I screw up. This was one of those times.

Understandable. I have my stop automatically placed whenever I enter, but even with that I can mess it up.

 
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  #94 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
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Narcissus View Post
Hope you take my comment as constructive but I will shut up if it's not helpful. I am also a beginner trading ES but keen to share my experience in the name of this forum's true spirit.

I do. Thanks for your comments!



Narcissus View Post
I see that you added 1 more to a loser. I used to do that a lot and I found that strategy unhelpful for me ( unless I have a plan BEFORE my 1st entry). Usually I end up holding on to them for too long and hoping for a turn around. I don't know your methodology but thought it's worth mentioning to help you think about entry and exit plan.

I agree completely. I usually add on to a loser when I'm in that frame of mind where my ego has taken over and I think I'm smarter than the market. I almost always get put in my place though.



Narcissus View Post
Yes, it's a good thing, in some ways, that there is no real money at risk but also be aware that it significantly INCREASES the learning period. I followed BigMike's advice and tried less risky instrument but with real money for 2 months. In my case, it's SPY ETF. Even with 100 units, 10 points ES move is worth 100 dollars without commissions. Again worth considering as the emotions I experienced are COMPLETELY different when real money was involved.

Yes, I agree the emotions are different when real money is on the line. I will use real money again but for now I've set myself the goal of making $3000 in my demo account by trading 1 contract only. The learning period is increased, for sure. I'm treating it as an exercise in patience.




Narcissus View Post
I am afraid he is more closer to truth than yourself. I also think your goal of getting 80 -90% accuracy is too ambitious. But the good news is, it's not necessary to be correct more often. Infact, BigMike is correct only 50% of the times but he makes sure that winners are lot bigger than the losers. I also had a similar belief like yours few months ago but seeing more and more successful traders like Tigertrader focusing on milking their winners rather than increasing the number of wins.

This is kind of a grey area. I believe there are many ways to do this profitably. One way is what you're suggesting - a small risk to reward ratio, which doesn't require a high win/loss ratio. I'm trying a style I learned from Mack at priceactiontradingsystem.com. I risk 8 ticks and my reward is only 4 ticks. But these parameters also make it easier to be right, which can lead to an 80-90% win/loss ratio. I believe it is possible but it takes considerable time and practice to develop the necessary skills. Also, right now I'm just learning to scalp (close the trade at +4 ticks). Eventually I'll trade multiple contracts and keep some of them as runners after I scalp out the majority of them. That will increase my reward to risk ratio.

Thanks again,
-bbdsan

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  #95 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
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I struggled a bit with the PA today. I screwed up a few times with counter trend trades trying to find a bottom to the big down trend this afternoon. With my trade parameters it's really hard to come back from more than 1 or 2 losses. I really tried and I was able to get quite a bit of my money back but not all of it. No doubling up on a loser today so that was good. In the end I just wasn't patient enough to wait for good short entries once prices were very clearly trending down.

6/29/2015 -$41.88, 12 wins, 7 losses




I'll be back at it tomorrow.

-bbdsan

 
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  #96 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
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Major comeback today! I started the session with 3 big losses but then I was able to put together a string of 11 wins. The PA was a little tricky today, too, so I'm pretty happy to post a win.

Again, I am trading 3 contracts in my demo account but I'm only counting the 1 contract loss or win (scalp) towards my daily P/L. The reason I'm trading 3 contracts is to get some experience with holding a runner contract after scalping out 2 contracts. Most of the time the market is coming back and getting my runner at b/e +1. A few times today it came back and stopped out my runner only to take off again several points my way. I'm not sure if I should manage the runner a little differently. I don't want it to come all the way back and stop out for a loss, wiping out my profits from the scalp. But on the other hand I could have gotten a lot of extra profits today if I had given my runner just a little more room.

What I've been doing is taking my scalp at +4 ticks (limit order), then if prices touch +5 ticks I move my stop to b/e +1. I think tomorrow I'll try the same thing only I'll move my stop to b/e only. If it comes back I'll lose commissions ($3.52) instead of winning lunch money ($8.98) but I think it'll be worth it if I can get just 1 or 2 more runners (3 points or more).

6/30/2015 +$109.05, 11 wins, 3 losses




Until tomorrow.
-bbdsan

 
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  #97 (permalink)
Site Administrator
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bbdsan View Post
Major comeback today!

6/30/2015 +$109.05, 11 wins, 3 losses

14 trades @ 3 contracts each = 42 lots traded. Is that correct? Does your $109 include commission?

What reason do you believe moving your stop to breakeven makes sense?

Mike

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  #98 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
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Big Mike View Post
14 trades @ 3 contracts each = 42 lots traded. Is that correct? Does your $109 include commission?

What reason do you believe moving your stop to breakeven makes sense?

Mike

Hi Mike,

I can definitely understand the confusion! I'll try to explain what I'm doing more clearly.

The orders I am executing (in a demo account) are for 3 contracts. I try to scalp out 2 of them at +4 ticks, then manage the 3rd as a runner. I'm doing this for the sake of practice and experience with multi-contract trading.

At the same time, I've set a goal for myself. I want to make $3000 in my demo account trading just a single contract. This is my milepost for when I will allow myself to deposit real money into my account and try real trading again. I based my goal on single contract trading because I only want to trade a single contract when I first start trading for real money again.

So, for the purpose of my $3000 goal, I do the math as if every trade was only 1 contract. In other words, I'm only counting the scalps, win or lose. The result for yesterday was 14 single contract trades, 11 wins, 3 losses, net profit $109 including commissions.

As far as runners, I'm just experimenting with how to manage them. The reason I want to try moving my stop to breakeven only (as opposed to breakeven +1) was because I had a few runners yesterday that would have survived and turned out really well.

-bbdsan

 
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  #99 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
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Not a fantastic start to July, although I feel like I'm learning a ton and getting some valuable experience.

7/1/2015 +$13.22, 9 wins, 5 losses




7/2/2015 -$6.68, 6 wins, 3 losses



-bbdsan

 
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  #100 (permalink)
Sacramento, CA
 
 
Posts: 148 since Feb 2015
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I hope everyone had a good holiday weekend. I had a pretty good day today. There were plenty of trades that setup today even though I missed a few of them. You have to love this volatility!

I made a mistake going short at the bottom of a steep down channel, for my only significant loss today. I had one other loss when I entered and exited at the same price, losing just commissions. Other than that I had several good 4-tick scalps and a few 1-tick or 2-tick winners. These happen when I second guess my entry and exit the trade with a tick or 2 of profit. It's not ideal, of course, but sometimes I'm right to exit with just a tick or 2 of profit instead of an 8-tick loss.

7/6/2015 +$164.80, 8 wins, 2 losses





Back again tomorrow.

-bbdsan

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