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Trading Without Charts (beginner attempt)
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Trading Without Charts (beginner attempt)

  #1 (permalink)
Elite Member
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: Sierra, NT
Favorite Futures: ES, VIX
Posts: 51 since Apr 2015
Thanks: 68 given, 12 received

Trading Without Charts (beginner attempt)

My background: I have traded on and off for a few years. I have moved between discretionary trading, managed accounts, courses/rooms, indicators, etc. etc., but probably haven't stayed with any approach long enough to know what works for me (although a couple of managed accounts that I've had for a few years are profitable, but not as profitable as I'd like them to be ... hence a return to day trading). I recently joined (formerly BMT), which has led me to various additional ideas on how to approach trading. This morning I watched Jigsaw's Day Trading Without Charts, and sense this is a skill that could help me with entries/exits. So, here is my first day with that approach:

Traded 11 times from 9:42-10:32 (probably overtrading, but going with the philosophy that's its okay to trade a lot at this point to get experience trading mainly from intraday volume profile and depth of market).

Sim only, 2 ES contracts per trade. using $4 commission per roundtrip on calculations.

points per trade: -.75, -1.00, -1.00, +1.50, -.75, +1.00, -.50, +.50, -1.00, -1.75*, -1.00
*accidentally added a third contract, although averaged it out ...

3 wins / 8 losses / -$574 (-$24.96/contract traded)
Exceeded my daily loss limit of $500 (oops!, I wasn't watching and shouldn't have taken that last trade).

My plan moving forward is to watch the video again, as I may actually be reversing some of its logic. I'll try again tomorrow!

Last edited by gumdr0p; June 8th, 2015 at 11:52 AM.
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  #2 (permalink)
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  #3 (permalink)
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Futures Experience: Beginner
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Posts: 51 since Apr 2015
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Jun 9

Only lasted a half hour with 8 trades, but stopped before I hit my daily loss limit.

+.50, -.75, +.50, -1.00, -1.00, -.75, b.e., -1.00
2 wins / 1 b.e. / 5 losses, -$440

One trade I tightened the stop too much (from 4 to 3 ticks) and it could have been a nice winner w/ a trailing stop. While it doesn't look much better than yesterday, I can sense I'm understanding the movements a little more.

Tomorrow I will try to focus better, as I am not 100% focused on the moment-to-moment movements (e.g. I'm still fiddling w/ software setup). I think this is causing me to only be looking at the volume profile, but not keeping track of the details of retracements, etc.

The general approach is to continue watching the Trading Without Charts videos, and try again tomorrow.

Last edited by gumdr0p; June 10th, 2015 at 05:33 AM.
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  #4 (permalink)
Elite Member
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: Sierra, NT
Favorite Futures: ES, VIX
Posts: 51 since Apr 2015
Thanks: 68 given, 12 received

data connection issues

I had data/connection issues twice. Didn't get into the market until 9:50, and lost my connection & data again about 25 minutes later. Anyway, I took 4 trades:

b.e., -1.25, +1.00, +1.00*
2 wins / 1 b.e. / 1 loss, +$43

I should have held the third trade longer for another point. The fourth one also eventually went up further. I should at least hold out on the 2nd contract.

I need to replace my router. The wifi drops, and then even when it comes back on data won't work until I restart everything.

Still working those Trading Without Charts videos. More slowly, though, and writing down the potential trade setups.

[update: took another breakeven trade later, couldn't resist the setup, but then it didn't seem so great a minute later and I wasn't supposed to be trading! brings total down to $35]

Last edited by gumdr0p; June 10th, 2015 at 07:01 PM.
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  #5 (permalink)
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Right now we are in a bit of a funny market.

Break off the open, then sideways for 2 hours, then a break.

So you have to watch out for the transition to rangebound behavior.

And for that - it helps to pull up an NQ & YM DOM because they generally all start ranging at the same time. No need to look at them all the time but you glance now and again to check the pace.

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  #6 (permalink)
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Futures Experience: Beginner
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Posts: 51 since Apr 2015
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okay, some charts

Okay, so I only lasted 3 days journaling completely without charts (I did a few other days prior to the journal).

As I was pondering my trade plan last night, I felt the inclination to bring in charts for triggers, but not pull the trigger until order flow confirms. I probably need more days without charts before I have a better feel for order flow, but I can't resist the temptation to combine what I've already learned w/ both order flow and charts.

Other changes include using parallel markets for confirmation (thanks DionysusToast for the recommendation), and since the ES is kind of slow for the chart patterns I'm looking for, I'm trading NQ w/ a 2pt stop. But still just trading one market.

All the changes naturally leads to some user errors, and today I made two big ones.

#1: completely missed the first setup, which would have been a winner ... but since the mouse had clicked on a chart my DOM shortcut keys weren't active. And by the time I figured out what was going on, it had moved so quickly that I didn't want to chase it. It was such a good bounce, that I would have even come out nicely chasing it.

#2: I double entered the next setup, and didn't realize it. It was a loser (w/ slippage) and the stop only placed on the first entry (is there a way to have ATM work on multiple entries in Ninja/Jigsaw?). So, the other half really lost.

In any event, here are the results (2 contracts per trade):
-2.50 & -5.75/-6.00, -2.00

2 losers (3 if you count the double entry), -$419

While that looks horrible, I'm sensing a lot of potential with this approach. I also started noticing absorption more by combining the Jigsaw Trades Power Meter w/ a chart ... and while I didn't take those that I saw, I may add that to my trade plan.

One issue w/ looking at other markets for confirmation is that I also have a tendency to borrow triggers. I need to keep track of whether that is effective or not. I think I did that halfway on the first, and more so on the last trade. The profitable trade I missed didn't borrow at all.

Since I'm now using charts to a degree, can I change the thread name?

Last edited by gumdr0p; June 11th, 2015 at 11:36 AM.
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  #7 (permalink)
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Platform: Sierra, NT
Favorite Futures: ES, VIX
Posts: 51 since Apr 2015
Thanks: 68 given, 12 received

blunders galore

Too many mistakes. A couple in my favor, and two against.

The first trade, I had the wrong ATM selected. Got stopped out early, saved me 1.00-1.25 pts. Phew. Second trade, I accidentally entered a second time (with a worse entry). I almost freaked out, but the order flow helped me stay in and I got a couple of points on each! Later, twice(!) I pushed on the B key (buy) when I didn't mean to... I was waiting for order flow to confirm an entry and I guess I leaned into the key a little and it triggered. Both were stopped out as though I was being spanked by the market.

On two of the breakevens, both hit the first target and then the stop was brought to breakeven. The other I just scratched as it moved against me quickly, and I was fortunate to break even.

-.75, +2.00(x2), b.e., -.25/b.e., -2.25, -2.25, -2.25, b.e., +1.50

10 trades:
2 winners, 3 b.e., 5 losers, , -$125

Besides just getting better at not creating unintentional entries, I sense my trading plan needs further tweaking. Maybe the NQ is too fast, or maybe I need more filters, larger stops/targets, fewer trades, or maybe I just need more time staring at this current setup.

Last edited by gumdr0p; June 12th, 2015 at 05:48 PM.
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  #8 (permalink)
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Interesting thread! Kudos for journaling your experiences trading off the DOM.

I've never had much success reading the DOM in any equity indices during RTH. The overnight session can be a bit easier around the EU open. If you're looking for something a little more 'readable' from the perspective of DOM trading why not try something slower like Corn, 2-Year note, Green or Red Eurodollars etc. Much more opportunity to scratch or get out with minimal slippage as they're all more than liquid enough for a retail trader.

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  #9 (permalink)
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Posts: 51 since Apr 2015
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back to the ES

Going back to the ES for a slower more liquid market. Keeping the charts for triggers and using Jigsaw tools for order flow info to enter/exit.

+1.00/+0.00 tightened stop too soon
+1.00/+0.75 borrowed signal from TF, tightened 2nd profit target too soon
-0.00/-0.25 tightened too soon
-0.25/-0.25 totally positioned for a breakout, chickened out too early as it was grinding and missed the pop of the morning, could have caught a 5+ pt move
+1.00/+1.00 faded
+1.00/+2.25 caught the next pop up, not as big
+1.00/+4.00 rode it down nicely, borrowed signals to enter

11 trades (2 contracts per trade)
7 winners, 4 losers, +$349.50

Negative going into the final two trades (and might have stopped). Could have had $193.50 on the first contract only. Multiply that by 2 and it beats my overall results, and is a much smoother equity curve.

I was debating all weekend whether or not to go back to learning algorithmic programming, but decided to stick my neck back into the live market. we'll see what happens in the future. For better or for worse, I want to do it all (DOM, charts, algo, etc.). But I can't devote more than a few hours per day.

Last edited by gumdr0p; June 15th, 2015 at 12:51 PM.
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  #10 (permalink)
Elite Member
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: Sierra, NT
Favorite Futures: ES, VIX
Posts: 51 since Apr 2015
Thanks: 68 given, 12 received

rough riding

-1.00/-1.25 dumb trade taken at open
+1.00/+2.25 should have held on longer, exited too early as was anxious to get back loss from prior trade, went on for another 6 pts, should have been the trade of the morning.
-0.25/-1.00 got out early as order flow went against
-1.00/-1.00 just dumb, pulling the trigger when all the signals aren't really there
+1.00/+1.50 could have gone much further, but order flow stalled
+0.50/+0.75 weak, but came out ahead
-0.25/-1.75 ?
+0.75/+1.00 felt dumb, chasing movement, but still caught some
+0.25/+0.50 jumped in too late, although it eventually popped up further
-1.00/+1.00 slammed into first stop, held out for overall breakeven
+1.00/0.00 nice try!, should have held on for the grind downward

11 trades
6 wins/ 1 be / 4 losses, +$24.50

kind of an excruciating series of trades. if i could avoid some of the dumb ones, I could come out w/ an additional $200 and also come out better mentally. I'm having a hard time leaving the market today. I want just one more trade.

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