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Papa's Trading Journal
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Papa's Trading Journal

  #181 (permalink)
Student Of The Markets
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papa15 View Post
Returned from CA late Saturday night. I was anxious to start trading live again after a 7 week lay-off. In that time I have looked at some other techniques with an eye toward bringing the risk/reward ratio more to 1:1 or greater. My practice trades had shown it could be done.

I traded 6E and CL on range charts today. Basically the technique is to enter on a pullback in the direction of the trend.

I wish real life was more like practice. In execution today I regressed. Too many trades (14, my broker is happy). I moved my stop twice and both times it cost me. That is a habit I thought I had conquered but apparently not. Those two trades ruined the day (and really dinged my account). I had other losses, but they were at the initial stop or I had moved the stop in the direction of the trade as it progressed and thus the stop was less than initial, as it should be.

Not a good start to a new year, but if I follow my rules and common sense, it can be made back. I do not intend to trade this many times in one day again for the remainder of this year. I intend to stop for the day when I reach my daily stop loss, whether it is the first trade of the day or later. (It's not too late for New Year's resolutions, is it?)

Welcome back Papa. It was one of those whipsawed days for me too. I took 5 trades and 3 of them would move to T1 and come back against me for either a b/e or I closed the trade with a few ticks of profit. The first 3 trades I was +0.05 ticks LOL!. Then the next 2 trades just killed my day and I stopped for the day. My entries were good and it was just one of those days where targets needed to be smaller and take smaller profits. We get conditioned to have targets set at +0.10 and +0.20 ticks and when there are markets like today we lose. Lesson learned for me. Like you said tomorrows another day. Go get em tomorrow.

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  #182 (permalink)
Elite Member
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Today's trading was better than yesterday in every respect. I was not anxious to enter. Was not over aggressive in targets; took what I saw. Was satisfied with the targets. On the CL trade, was a little concerned with the size of the stop but stuck to the rules. Totally different feeling than yesterday.

Did an inside bar on the 15 min CL. Bar formed at 0930. Price had tested going higher but had met a lot of selling pressure above 90.10. I thought it needed to test the selling side. There was support around 89.90 so I set a 10 tick target to be out at 89.93. Some minor heat, but the market did turn down. It had a minor stall around 89.90 but did break down further.

Did a 6E scalp. Used a 12 range chart to get direction. Entered when a 3R chart had stoch go below 20 and turn up through 20. Market was sort of in a stall. I scalped a few ticks from it. This is a method I am still trying to refine and am hoping to be able to work to improve the R:R using it. Shows promise but is still a work in progress.

I have attached a screen shot from NT of this morning. I am still in a trial. ToS does not support range bars and the popularity of those on this forum has peaked my interest in them. I would welcome any helpful hints from anyone who is experienced in these to help shorten my learning curve. I am reading other threads now looking for hints.

Of note, I am not a big fan of indicators but am using a few now. The goal is to slowly remove them and become a pure price action trader (with the exception of the inside bar, I do like painting those)

Attached Thumbnails
Papa's Trading Journal-111morning.png  
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  #183 (permalink)
Elite Member
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I goofed up today. I watched the oil open. I saw the strength it had, saw the strength in the equity index futures, and knew the strength was to the upside. I also was aware that oil inventories come out at 10:30. Nevertheless, I put in a sell stop below the low of the first candle thinking CL would make a push to the half way gap. It did, by one tick. One tick beyond my entry. I took a large loss as I adjusted the stop to give it room. One and done for the day.

My thinking should have been done before hand. All the evidence was there. It just had to be put together. Today I won't say I was anxious to get into the market, but that I blindly jumped in. I did not properly consider the trade before hand. Once in the trade, I did not manage for success. Execution was poor, trade management was a failure.

That is the second time this has happened this week. I think I will sim trade the remainder of the week to try to get the feel of the market again. Discretion here is probably the better part of valor.

Attached Thumbnails
Papa's Trading Journal-cl-ind.png  
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  #184 (permalink)
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papa15 View Post
I goofed up today. I watched the oil open. I saw the strength it had, saw the strength in the equity index futures, and knew the strength was to the upside. I also was aware that oil inventories come out at 10:30. Nevertheless, I put in a sell stop below the low of the first candle thinking CL would make a push to the half way gap. It did, by one tick. One tick beyond my entry. I took a large loss as I adjusted the stop to give it room. One and done for the day.

My thinking should have been done before hand. All the evidence was there. It just had to be put together. Today I won't say I was anxious to get into the market, but that I blindly jumped in. I did not properly consider the trade before hand. Once in the trade, I did not manage for success. Execution was poor, trade management was a failure.

That is the second time this has happened this week. I think I will sim trade the remainder of the week to try to get the feel of the market again. Discretion here is probably the better part of valor.

Papa,

I think the bigger issue is you moving the stop. What I learned from trading from others is this is the absolute worst thing you can do and will sink you more quickly than anything. Until you can not move your stop, then I would reconsider trading at all.

Nothing wrong w/ having made a 'wrong' decision, but the key is to adapt to the wrong decision. You can't do that when you move your stops.

Just a perspective from an outside viewer of something you probably already know.

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  #185 (permalink)
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bluemele View Post
Papa,

I think the bigger issue is you moving the stop. What I learned from trading from others is this is the absolute worst thing you can do and will sink you more quickly than anything. Until you can not move your stop, then I would reconsider trading at all.

Nothing wrong w/ having made a 'wrong' decision, but the key is to adapt to the wrong decision. You can't do that when you move your stops.

Just a perspective from an outside viewer of something you probably already know.

I think the real issue is that I am not ready to handle a product with the volatility of CL while using a 15 min chart with my account size. The obvious place for a stop on that trade was at the high of the candle that just closed (91.72). I had my stop at an arbitrary 8 ticks. I quickly realized that was too tight. I tried to use a range chart to determine a better (ie tighter stop than 91.72) but the last swing high was there, so there you go. I did not think this trade through before I entered; had I done so, I would have realized the risk vs reward was not good and thus I should stay on the sidelines. My second mistake was that once I realized I was not in a favorable trade, I did not immediately exit. I could have cut and run much sooner, but my ego got in the way ( the logic went something like this, "this is such a volatile instrument, it is bound to come back, just HOPE it is soon: The red flag is obvious isn't it). There is a lot to be learned from this trade. I am trying to be descriptive about it and not judgmental. I want to get the lesson from this without beating myself up about it. I certainly don't want to repeat this error.

Writing all this out is a great learning experience in itself. Thanks for taking the time to give your input. It really is appreciated.
Papa15

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  #186 (permalink)
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papa15 View Post
I think the real issue is that I am not ready to handle a product with the volatility of CL while using a 15 min chart with my account size. The obvious place for a stop on that trade was at the high of the candle that just closed (91.72). I had my stop at an arbitrary 8 ticks. I quickly realized that was too tight. I tried to use a range chart to determine a better (ie tighter stop than 91.72) but the last swing high was there, so there you go. I did not think this trade through before I entered; had I done so, I would have realized the risk vs reward was not good and thus I should stay on the sidelines. My second mistake was that once I realized I was not in a favorable trade, I did not immediately exit. I could have cut and run much sooner, but my ego got in the way ( the logic went something like this, "this is such a volatile instrument, it is bound to come back, just HOPE it is soon: The red flag is obvious isn't it). There is a lot to be learned from this trade. I am trying to be descriptive about it and not judgmental. I want to get the lesson from this without beating myself up about it. I certainly don't want to repeat this error.

Writing all this out is a great learning experience in itself. Thanks for taking the time to give your input. It really is appreciated.
Papa15

Forgive me for being blunt, but the idea that CL is to volatile for your account size is ridiculous. You were right the first post. You blindly jumped in and then you managed your stop poorly. Don't blame the instrument for the mistakes you made. Cl's volatility is what will make you money. The slow grind of ES and the other indexes will bore you to tears. Ask any trader, tons of them are jumping ship to CL for that exact reason.

If you want to moderate your risk on CL, then only take your A trades. You proved you could do this in your journal. Do it again. And NEVER move the stop again. Ask yourself. Am I moving this stop because I am afraid of losing and I want to give it more room in hopes it comes back in my favor?......if the answer is yes, exit the trade immediately. If the answer is no....the stop was in the wrong place to start with, then move the stop. Then leave it alone.

Sorry to be so blunt but I heard an excuse slipping in and that is dangerous. You can tell me to but out if you want....I won't be offended.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #187 (permalink)
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aztrader9 View Post
Forgive me for being blunt, but the idea that CL is to volatile for your account size is ridiculous. You were right the first post. You blindly jumped in and then you managed your stop poorly. Don't blame the instrument for the mistakes you made. Cl's volatility is what will make you money. The slow grind of ES and the other indexes will bore you to tears. Ask any trader, tons of them are jumping ship to CL for that exact reason.

If you want to moderate your risk on CL, then only take your A trades. You proved you could do this in your journal. Do it again. And NEVER move the stop again. Ask yourself. Am I moving this stop because I am afraid of losing and I want to give it more room in hopes it comes back in my favor?......if the answer is yes, exit the trade immediately. If the answer is no....the stop was in the wrong place to start with, then move the stop. Then leave it alone.

Sorry to be so blunt but I heard an excuse slipping in and that is dangerous. You can tell me to but out if you want....I won't be offended.

I would never tell you to butt out....I need and appreciate the feedback. My whole point is I did not do my due diligence on this trade....I entered in an almost mechanical way just because price happened to move 1 tick below the first bar of the morning and I used whatever parameters were left in the DOM....there was no thinking involved. That mistake was compounded by not jumping out as soon as I saw what I did.

Yes, you are right that I should not turn my back totally on CL. The inside bar trade does still work. What I need to work on there is the ability to target larger targets. If I use the appropriate stop (ie the other end of the bar), I need to look for larger targets because one full stop out wipes out a lot of scalp trades. Using the 2 min guideline that the trade better be going my way or else exit, helps, but is not by itself the final answer.

I do want to work on trading other instruments. I think I may look at NQ and 6B as they have lower tick and margin values. I want to develop the skill and expertise to trade multiple contracts, and it appears they are more appropriate to try that on.

I also must discipline myself to look for stop placement first and check to see if the reward then justifies the entering the trade. I have been too fixated on just looking at the entry and using some arbitrary stop. The price action really dictates where the stop should be.

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  #188 (permalink)
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papa15 View Post
I would never tell you to butt out....I need and appreciate the feedback. My whole point is I did not do my due diligence on this trade....I entered in an almost mechanical way just because price happened to move 1 tick below the first bar of the morning and I used whatever parameters were left in the DOM....there was no thinking involved. That mistake was compounded by not jumping out as soon as I saw what I did.

Yes, you are right that I should not turn my back totally on CL. The inside bar trade does still work. What I need to work on there is the ability to target larger targets. If I use the appropriate stop (ie the other end of the bar), I need to look for larger targets because one full stop out wipes out a lot of scalp trades. Using the 2 min guideline that the trade better be going my way or else exit, helps, but is not by itself the final answer.

I do want to work on trading other instruments. I think I may look at NQ and 6B as they have lower tick and margin values. I want to develop the skill and expertise to trade multiple contracts, and it appears they are more appropriate to try that on.

I also must discipline myself to look for stop placement first and check to see if the reward then justifies the entering the trade. I have been too fixated on just looking at the entry and using some arbitrary stop. The price action really dictates where the stop should be.

I know for my own method that I am trading that the CL is a bit intimidating, especially for my account size when I go live. I can easily eat 2K-3K in one sitting on a very very bad day. Whereby TF is perfect for me at this stage. However, overall, CL will provide me with by far the most profit. I trade SIM on CL lately and I make about 6 times more profit on average and my good days outnumber the bad days. Like AZTrader said, the key is to leverage the instrument which it sounds like you are doing.

I have no doubts this is just a bad spell!

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  #189 (permalink)
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papa15 View Post
I would never tell you to butt out....I need and appreciate the feedback. My whole point is I did not do my due diligence on this trade....I entered in an almost mechanical way just because price happened to move 1 tick below the first bar of the morning and I used whatever parameters were left in the DOM....there was no thinking involved. That mistake was compounded by not jumping out as soon as I saw what I did.

Yes, you are right that I should not turn my back totally on CL. The inside bar trade does still work. What I need to work on there is the ability to target larger targets. If I use the appropriate stop (ie the other end of the bar), I need to look for larger targets because one full stop out wipes out a lot of scalp trades. Using the 2 min guideline that the trade better be going my way or else exit, helps, but is not by itself the final answer.

I do want to work on trading other instruments. I think I may look at NQ and 6B as they have lower tick and margin values. I want to develop the skill and expertise to trade multiple contracts, and it appears they are more appropriate to try that on.

I also must discipline myself to look for stop placement first and check to see if the reward then justifies the entering the trade. I have been too fixated on just looking at the entry and using some arbitrary stop. The price action really dictates where the stop should be.

Now I agree with you. You must look for larger targets. A 2:1 RR or greater. Which means the inside bar scalping will become a trade that you use when other trades are not really presenting themselves. A stead eddie when the larger trades are too rich in terms of stop or if there aren't any in the time alloted for you to trade.

Choosing the exit before the trade is put on is something I just learned about. A trader I listened to said to spend three times more time on the exit than the entry. And I agree. Which means you need to find targets before you find entries. And support/resistance is the key to that which I think you already knew.

I am fascinated by your journey. You are doing the way I wish I had. Very methodical as opposed to my willy nilly holy grail chase.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #190 (permalink)
Elite Member
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Where I am at


Last week was a tough week for me. I was anxious to get back to trading after an absence of several weeks. I was trying a new system. I ended up having a fairly high winning percentage but the losers were bigger than my winners, and the week ended up being one of my worst losing weeks in many months. It was all my fault for rushing back into live trading with too many changes taking place on the charts, and behind the scenes as well.

So, I have decided to just sim-trade for a while until I get things settled. I have applied for an account at a different broker and am waiting to see when it will open, and after that when I can get the funds transferred. I really like ToS, but it has its limitations. I am looking to switch to NT7. I have also demo'ed SC and like those as well. We are really blessed to have so many choices.

Today I tried a sim-trade on the 20 min CL oil chart. I waited for an inside bar to form, and then switched to a 1 min chart to look for a refined entry. It turned out to be a good bar to try it on as price started near the bottom of the IB and then worked its way up to where it exceeded the high of the IB, but on the one min chart, the upper breakout looked weak. Previously I would have entered on the upper breakout. Good thing I didn't here as price retracedto within the range of the IB, and then fell. I was able to get a profitable sim-trade as price went below the IB.

I am looking for a way to scalp another market. I do not want to scalp CL. I have tried a couple of methods over the holidays but without consistent success. I read Sharky's Real World Classroom yesterday and realized he gave a scalping method that closely fits what I had tried. I set it up today and tried it on the 6B. It worked like a champ. Thanks Sharky. Very simple system. Wait for a pull back and then go with the trend. It is scalping, so keep the targets reasonable. Able to use 2 contracts. Just gonna keep looking at this for at least the rest of this week and maybe even next week. Want to really test this out and develop my own guidelines.

I have attached some charts. I apologize upfront in that I did not mark them up very well. On the 6B, I took the trades on the downtrend after 10 am, and entered on the pullback to the trendline. Had red MAs and red down arrows, with price below the MAs. There were other setups later, but I had to leave then for a luncheon.

I did notice I was able to give attention to only one instrument at a time. I will concentrate on the scalping method for the next several days.

Attached Thumbnails
Papa's Trading Journal-cl20118.png   Papa's Trading Journal-cl1m118.png   Papa's Trading Journal-sharky118.png  

Last edited by papa15; January 19th, 2011 at 11:28 AM.
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