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Papa's Trading Journal

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  #491 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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  #492 (permalink)
 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts, Investor RT, Ninja Trader
Broker: VanKar
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In September, I failed to maintain my self discipline, and had a losing month. The first week in October, I had a good week and then the second Monday (which was my wife's birthday by the way) I started off ok when I had the brilliant idea to try a cash trade with a new technique I was exploring....I will give you 3 guesses as to what happened (and the first 2 don't count). Since this was my new idea, of course I had to give it room to work, the normal rules don't apply. Well, shucks, it is against me.....I know, I will average down since it is going to go my way.....I just know it....now I am really in a hole....I can't wipe out an entire week's gains on one stupid trade.....I sure hope it turns around soon...is it hot in here or is it just me, the heat is turning up...please just let me out...how can I be so stupid...well, I am going to cut if it gets to xxxxx...oh good, it is turning now, hmmm if I add another contract, I can get to breakeven that much faster....oh, no, please, please, PLEASE stop going against me....ok, bite the bullet, take the loss....goodness, there goes not only last week's gains, but also August's....you are the dumbest trader ever, you have no business in this game....

Oh, and the next day, I got up and traded the plan with better discipline, and lost on 5 of 8 trades and quit at my daily loss limit, thus digging the hole that much deeper....it was a trying time to say the least.

I continued with the plan, with the whole goal of recouping my losses by the end of the month. I focused on self discipline and following my plan, but I realized my reliance on just the 15 min chart breakout was not working as well and neither was my reward:risk ratio. More losers were popping up, and my profit target/stop loss settings required me to win nearly 75% of the time.

I did some looking around on futures.io (formerly BMT) and watched Perry's seminar. That caused me to start reading his thread. There is nothing new or earth shattering in his technique. I am very familiar with pivot point moving averages from having read John Person's books a few years ago. I am familiar with multiple moving averages and time frames, but Perry put it together in way that made crystal clear sense to me.....and the other thing is he uses the 6E as his instrument of choice. So, I started practicing this, modified to use time charts. I like a 1 min and a 15 min chart. I only use the moving averages on the charts. I started with CL and had some success, but I also practiced on 6E.

Last Friday, I made up my mind to not look at CL any more. I am not able to handle the volatility. Too many of my trades stopped out but then turned around and hit my profit target. It is a part of trading that you will not be right on all trades, but it is especially frustrating to make an entry, give up your money to someone else and then watch it go where you "knew" it would.....Any way, right now CL's volatility index is about 3x that of the Euro...

Over the last 2 week's I recovered all my losses and my account balance is nearly at its previous peak. The last 2 days, I felt my discipline starting to slip, so I took today off to give me some time to reflect. Am I a better trader now than I was a month ago or 6 months ago; I really believe I am. Have I overcome my self discipline issues; no, I have not. There are some deep rooted issues to address and I think it a process that will take some time. I already have spent 6 months on it and I know I am not done yet. Am I jumping from method to method to method; I don't think so....I try to look before I leap. I am flexible and will consider a new idea as long as it is not some "secret to trading riches" or "holy grail". One principle I have is to be content with trading progress but not complacent. Look to improve. None of us are perfect, and being self critical is important to push yourself to improve.

Not sure yet if I will trade Monday (probably will) but I had some extra time today, so I took the time to make this periodic update....

My focus is on:
1. Avoid the opening chop.
2. Honor stops
3. Ensure reward > risk on all trades
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  #493 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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Please do not change your method again.

The method is not what is causing you to make poor trading decisions after your entry point and before your exit point. Not unless you have zero faith in the method itself. And I assume that is not the case, you've proven to yourself the method is profitable, you've proven it in sim, you've proven it in cash.

The only time you lose large amounts of money is when you make really poor decisions. Sure you can call that not following the plan, but the point I am making is you don't solve that problem by changing to Perry's Method. You solve that problem by working on it daily, slowly, one step at a time.

As for averaging down, or moving stops, or not taking a stop... the only thing I can say is that if you are still doing this, after all this time, then maybe trading is not for you. It most certainly is not for everyone. If you find that sentence doesn't sit well with you, then you are free to prove me wrong but you've got to make some radical changes to your execution.

One thing you may consider is trading smaller. Remove the greed and fear as much as possible, as it relates to money, and focus on the execution itself. This gets you closer to sim results. Trading full size $5 and $10 and $12.50/tick contracts is likely way, way too big. You would be far better off trading $1/tick micro futures, or even consider opening a small spot forex account and trade $0.10 a pip just until you can demonstrate to yourself that you won't go full tilt all the time.

Sorry to be hard on you. I am just trying to help.



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  #494 (permalink)
 bluemele 
Honolulu, Hawaii
 
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Papa,

Thanks for the blatant honesty! I imagine that would be hard for most.

I agree with Mike. I think you are a good trader if you could recover within 2 weeks!

One thing I noticed that works for me is that I slip also. The charts get muddy and I can't see clear setups. I am doing equity based trading so if I fall off the wagon, then I will not be live until I climb back on. (I am still off after a year!)

I have a 3 day STEP in which if my trading goes below my balance of 3 days ago, then I am sim until it climbs back above.

For you, for this last year it has been about moving your stops. Have you thought about having a server side daily stop limit? (from your broker)

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  #495 (permalink)
 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Big Mike View Post
Please do not change your method again.

The method is not what is causing you to make poor trading decisions after your entry point and before your exit point. Not unless you have zero faith in the method itself. And I assume that is not the case, you've proven to yourself the method is profitable, you've proven it in sim, you've proven it in cash.

The only time you lose large amounts of money is when you make really poor decisions. Sure you can call that not following the plan, but the point I am making is you don't solve that problem by changing to Perry's Method. You solve that problem by working on it daily, slowly, one step at a time.

As for averaging down, or moving stops, or not taking a stop... the only thing I can say is that if you are still doing this, after all this time, then maybe trading is not for you. It most certainly is not for everyone. If you find that sentence doesn't sit well with you, then you are free to prove me wrong but you've got to make some radical changes to your execution.

One thing you may consider is trading smaller. Remove the greed and fear as much as possible, as it relates to money, and focus on the execution itself. This gets you closer to sim results. Trading full size $5 and $10 and $12.50/tick contracts is likely way, way too big. You would be far better off trading $1/tick micro futures, or even consider opening a small spot forex account and trade $0.10 a pip just until you can demonstrate to yourself that you won't go full tilt all the time.

Sorry to be hard on you. I am just trying to help.



Mike

Mike
You are not as hard on me as I am on myself.

The big drawdowns I suffer do cause a lot of inner reflection, and indeed cause me to question why I am pursuing this. It really is not for the money, but more for the freedom that trading allows.

I am sure you will question the following statement, you may just laugh at it, or you may think I am off my rocker. I really am not changing my method. My method is merely trend following. I do not try to determine the top or the bottom of a move, but rather define a trend and take a chunk out of the middle of the trend. Every thing I have done over the past year and a half has been that (well actually the trade that gave me grief on the 10th was actually a counter trend one, and I quickly realized that does not fit comfortably with me).

I think what has caused me to have problems with the discipline issues is my use of an instrument that does not fit into the parameters I use for stop losses. You stated a couple of years ago that CL was not suitable for smaller accounts or folks without a really successful trading record. I ignored that advice. I have been essentially a break even or less trader ever since I tried CL. Its movements were more than I could handle. So far, 6E has not been as violent as CL and I find the parameters I use to be adequate. I also realized I needed to raise my daily goal and I have been able to meet the new goal....this allows for recovery from a normal daily loss in a day or two at most..

I appreciate your feedback.

My focus is on:
1. Avoid the opening chop.
2. Honor stops
3. Ensure reward > risk on all trades
Visit my futures io Trade Journal Started this thread
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  #496 (permalink)
 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts, Investor RT, Ninja Trader
Broker: VanKar
Trading: NQ
 
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Posts: 527 since Sep 2009
Thanks: 583 given, 1,246 received


bluemele View Post
Papa,

Thanks for the blatant honesty! I imagine that would be hard for most.

I agree with Mike. I think you are a good trader if you could recover within 2 weeks!

One thing I noticed that works for me is that I slip also. The charts get muddy and I can't see clear setups. I am doing equity based trading so if I fall off the wagon, then I will not be live until I climb back on. (I am still off after a year!)

I have a 3 day STEP in which if my trading goes below my balance of 3 days ago, then I am sim until it climbs back above.

For you, for this last year it has been about moving your stops. Have you thought about having a server side daily stop limit? (from your broker)


I asked Matt if Vision had such a stop when I switched there and was told they did not. I have used one of those in past with TransAct and it was good (but the charting was inadequate and their commissions were not the best, etc). I would use a server side stop if it was available.

My focus is on:
1. Avoid the opening chop.
2. Honor stops
3. Ensure reward > risk on all trades
Visit my futures io Trade Journal Started this thread
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  #497 (permalink)
 bluemele 
Honolulu, Hawaii
 
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papa15 View Post
I asked Matt if Vision had such a stop when I switched there and was told they did not. I have used one of those in past with TransAct and it was good (but the charting was inadequate and their commissions were not the best, etc). I would use a server side stop if it was available.

You could probably pay someone to write an indicator that says," WAKE UP, WAKE UP, YOU HAVE EXCEEDED YOUR DAILY LOSS LIMIT " and the only way to get rid of it from occupying your entire screen is if you reboot. haha... That would be cool.

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  #498 (permalink)
 mattz   is a Vendor
 
 
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I will check again if I can have such a vehicle as an alert via Rithmic Trader or NinjaTrader.

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  #499 (permalink)
 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts, Investor RT, Ninja Trader
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mattz View Post
I will check again if I can have such a vehicle as an alert via Rithmic Trader or NinjaTrader.

Matt
I know that RT has a risk watcher.....perhaps that can be used...

My focus is on:
1. Avoid the opening chop.
2. Honor stops
3. Ensure reward > risk on all trades
Visit my futures io Trade Journal Started this thread
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  #500 (permalink)
 sam028 
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I've heard that some brokers can manage that for you: they do not allow to trade after a daily loss of $X.
You have to signe a paper where you agree to these conditions, and where it's write that you can't change this "rule" only after a week or two.
A friend of mine was using something like that, and it was quite efficient for him.

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