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Papa's Trading Journal
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Papa's Trading Journal

  #511 (permalink)
Elite Member
Wake Forest, NC
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts, Investor RT, Ninja Trader
Broker/Data: VanKar
Favorite Futures: NQ
 
papa15's Avatar
 
Posts: 527 since Sep 2009
Thanks: 586 given, 1,244 received


PandaWarrior View Post
I say keep it in this journal, that way we as well as you can see the transition months from now when you re-read your journal.

Ok for now....probably will not post daily, but we will see....

My focus is on:
1. Avoid the opening chop.
2. Honor stops
3. Ensure reward > risk on all trades
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  #512 (permalink)
Elite Member
Wake Forest, NC
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts, Investor RT, Ninja Trader
Broker/Data: VanKar
Favorite Futures: NQ
 
papa15's Avatar
 
Posts: 527 since Sep 2009
Thanks: 586 given, 1,244 received

Confession Time

I have a confession to make. If you have read this thread, you know I have a love/hate relationship with Windows and anything Microsoft. I have tried mightily to make trading work on Linux, and I have had great support from Rithmic in doing so. But since around the first of the year I have experienced problems I have not been able to overcome. Every now and then Sierra Charts would just freeze for a period of time...it is like the CPU is in overload for 15 seconds on up to over a minute. The screen just locks up, and if you leave everything alone, after a while (which seems a very, very long while if you are in a trade) it starts working again. Fortunately, it never cost me money, but it destroyed my confidence in trading on Linux. I tried different versions of WINE, different distributions of Linux, but was unable to come to a solution that I felt comfortable with. So, as much as it pained me, I put in the Windows 7 hard drive and have been using it for several weeks. I typically run NinjaTrader on one laptop (usually the Windows 7 machine) and Sierra Charts on my Windows XP Dell that is 4 years old. Well, last night, the thought hit me to try Windows 8 on the Dell. I am a bit surprised that the hard ware in that computer will run W8, but so far it is doing it just fine. I am in the process of getting both NT and SC set up on that computer. Maybe, just maybe, MS will finally get something right with W8......

My focus is on:
1. Avoid the opening chop.
2. Honor stops
3. Ensure reward > risk on all trades
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  #513 (permalink)
Elite Member
Wake Forest, NC
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts, Investor RT, Ninja Trader
Broker/Data: VanKar
Favorite Futures: NQ
 
papa15's Avatar
 
Posts: 527 since Sep 2009
Thanks: 586 given, 1,244 received


Well the Windows 8 experiment lasted but a few hours. It installed easily enough and I was able to download NT ok, but it would not connect with Rithmic. I shut it down and when I tried to open it again, it would not start up. I uninstalled it and re-installed it, but got the same result. Don't know if it is the older hard ware that is the problem or what, but I just put my Windows XP hard drive back in my old laptop. Guess I will wait for the production release of Windows 8 and for NT to compatible with it. Windows 8 is a big step away from the typical Windows interface....it will take some getting used to when the time comes. But until then, my setup works on my equipment and that is all that matters.

My focus is on:
1. Avoid the opening chop.
2. Honor stops
3. Ensure reward > risk on all trades
The following user says Thank You to papa15 for this post:
 
  #514 (permalink)
Elite Member
Wake Forest, NC
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts, Investor RT, Ninja Trader
Broker/Data: VanKar
Favorite Futures: NQ
 
papa15's Avatar
 
Posts: 527 since Sep 2009
Thanks: 586 given, 1,244 received

I tried trading CL for well over a year and found that I just could not get a handle on it. When I was right, I would make a quick profit, but when I was wrong, I could not cut the losses before they got too large. I knew I was playing with fire, but I seemed to be addicted to it. In October, I tried the 6E and found it better than oil in terms of volatility, but the problem I ran into, is I allowed myself to add on contracts when my position moved against me. Of course I had some early success doing that, but the inevitable result happened. Yep, leveraged into a massive loss. Totally irrational behavior.

So, I stopped cash trading. It is better to not make anything than to lose something. I just started reflecting on my trading journey, what did I enjoy, what did I not enjoy, what was successful, what was not?

What instrument should I trade? I am not chasing a big payoff on a daily basis. What I need is consistency over a long haul. I wanted a smaller margin and volatility. For me, it boiled down to either 6B or NQ. I chose NQ since its volume overnight is very small (most volume occurs during the day) while 6B has a lot of movement in the middle of my night.

Early on in my journey, I read John Person's books on using pivots. He gives a fairly good system but it did not fully click with me. In early December I bought Secrets of a Pivot Boss by Frank Ochoa. He filled in the holes that I felt John Person left out. The picture of how to use pivots in trading became much clearer, so I was off to sim trade. Since I liked Ochoa's book, I bought his course on calculating bullish and bearish targets using ADR. It is not something mysterious, but it is his work, so I can't share what it is. I am probably dense for not figuring it out sooner, but adding that piece to the puzzle just put the finishing touches on the trading picture. I have found the bullish and bearish targets work remarkably well with NQ.

I have not totally turned my trading around. I still wrestle with having patience to wait for price to enter my buy or sell zones, but I am improving. For the first time in a long time, I feel like I have a complete plan of attack. I have a method to plan where to buy and sell before the day begins (the pivot analysis gives a daily road map), I have entry setups to look for at those areas, and I have established monthly goals that are reasonable. The puzzle is coming together. Now I just have to execute.

If you have never read any of John Person's stuff, I have attached an old presentation from several years ago. His method has not changed over the years.

My focus is on:
1. Avoid the opening chop.
2. Honor stops
3. Ensure reward > risk on all trades
Attached Thumbnails
Papa's Trading Journal-johnperson.pdf  

Last edited by papa15; March 11th, 2012 at 11:07 PM.
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  #515 (permalink)
Site Administrator
Manta, Ecuador
 
Futures Experience: Advanced
Platform: My own custom solution
Favorite Futures: E-mini ES S&P 500
 
Big Mike's Avatar
 
Posts: 46,238 since Jun 2009
Thanks: 29,350 given, 83,218 received

Congratulations on your journal!



In the spirit of our March Trading Journal contest, I am asking everyone to spend a few minutes and share their journaling experience.

A) What are the top five benefits you have seen as a result of regularly posting in this journal?

B) What are the top five problem areas you have identified as a result of regularly posting in this journal?

C) Were you initially reluctant to start this trading journal? If yes, why?

D) How do you feel, overall, about your journaling experience?

E) Would you recommend to others that they should also start a trading journal?

Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions. I appreciate your posts, and I hope you have benefited from your journal. I also know that others will benefit as well, just by reading about your own experiences.

Enjoy your weekend,
Mike

Due to time constraints, please do not PM me if your question can be resolved or answered on the forum.

Need help?
1) Stop changing things. No new indicators, charts, or methods. Be consistent with what is in front of you first.
2) Start a journal and post to it daily with the trades you made to show your strengths and weaknesses.
3) Set goals for yourself to reach daily. Make them about how you trade, not how much money you make.
4) Accept responsibility for your actions. Stop looking elsewhere to explain away poor performance.
5) Where to start as a trader? Watch this webinar and read this thread for hundreds of questions and answers.
6)
Help using the forum? Watch this video to learn general tips on using the site.

If you want
to support our community, become an Elite Member.

 
  #516 (permalink)
Elite Member
Wake Forest, NC
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts, Investor RT, Ninja Trader
Broker/Data: VanKar
Favorite Futures: NQ
 
papa15's Avatar
 
Posts: 527 since Sep 2009
Thanks: 586 given, 1,244 received

Update

As to Windows 8, the Rithmic API just will not allow live trading on Ninja Trader. The charts run fine, simulated trading works fine, but if you try to submit a live order, you receive an error message. Sierra Charts works fine under Windows 8.

I spent a lot of time this past weekend getting Linux Mint 12 running properly on my desktop, but on Monday morning SC froze as I was looking at different time frames....so I did away with Linux and am back on Window. My trading computer runs Windows 7. Any backup machine will run either Windows XP or Windows 8. From what I read on the SC support board, SC runs fine with a TT feed, but I am on Rithmic, so I will stay with Windows for now.

Enough of that, now for something that may be of benefit. Last Thursday I checked my bank accounts online and saw a telephone transfer that took away 75% of my checking account balance. Neither I nor my wife had done this, so I immediately called the bank. It took them a couple of days but they did credit the money back to my account. In the process, they advised me to change all my passwords and PINs. Their investigation did reveal it was a case of fraud and not an innocent mistake....someone stole my ID. I confess I had not changed passwords or PINS in like forever. This should be a periodic item. If you can't remember the last time you changed your password or PIN, then it is definitely time to do so.....

My focus is on:
1. Avoid the opening chop.
2. Honor stops
3. Ensure reward > risk on all trades
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  #517 (permalink)
Market Wizard
virginia
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: ninja
Favorite Futures: ES
 
cory's Avatar
 
Posts: 5,215 since Jun 2009
Thanks: 628 given, 6,313 received
Forum Reputation: Legendary


papa15 View Post
.. Last Thursday I checked my bank accounts online and saw a telephone transfer that took away 75% of my checking account balance. Neither I nor my wife had done this, so I immediately called the bank. It took them a couple of days but they did credit the money back to my account. In the process, they advised me to change all my passwords and PINs. .....

my bank is like Fort Knox I had a hard time breaking in myself. I ended up calling the bank to reset my password

 
  #518 (permalink)
Elite Member
Wake Forest, NC
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts, Investor RT, Ninja Trader
Broker/Data: VanKar
Favorite Futures: NQ
 
papa15's Avatar
 
Posts: 527 since Sep 2009
Thanks: 586 given, 1,244 received

As to trading, I have had my ups and downs since last Fall. Recently, I have tried to step back and look at the big picture. I have never had a problem finding good entries; I suspect very few people have a problem with that especially if you read any of the threads on this forum. There are dozens of excellent systems here and it does not take very long to find one that you can feel comfortable with.

I have focused in on 3 main points that have been the fundamental reasons for my having so much difficulty getting positive traction in the market.

1. A good portion of my losses have come as a result of entering trades either pre-market or very shortly (with in the first 2-3 minutes) of the market opening. The pre-market volume is so much less than that after opening, it is really difficult to know the direction the market really wants to go. Waiting 10-15 minutes before entering adds a great deal of clarity and makes decision making a bit easier....so avoid the opening chop.

2. Not honoring stops. Often times I will move or cancel a stop as price approaches the stop (fear of being stopped out or of taking a loss). Rather than take a small loss, I move the stop and sometimes compound the issue by averaging down (adding to a losing position). Some call this trading with scared money. I believe it is an ego issue...not wanting to be proven to be wrong because you have not lost until the position is closed. Part of this issue for me has been I was trading too volatile an instrument for my skills and account size (CL) but I no longer trade that. I trade only NQ and 6B. I am able to handle the volatility of these 2 instruments and can have an appropriate stop size based on my account size. I recognize not all trades work. It is ok to be wrong; it is not ok to stay wrong......honor your stops.

3. Inverted risk to reward. I have almost always used a larger risk than reward as my stops have been larger than my profit targets, sometimes twice as large. When my trades were profitable, I made less than when I was wrong on a trade (this contributes heavily to point number 2 above). On a daily basis, my daily loss limit has been larger than my daily profit goal. Both of these result in a sure draw down of an account. I have had very high winning percentages in trades and in profitable days, but the losers have just overwhelmed the winners. This leads to a vicious circle. After a loss, you want to start winning again, so you take what profits you can get, cutting winning trades too soon. You can have a series of those but then comes a loser. If you have a losing day, it can take several days to recover. This money draining cycle must be broken......profit targets must be greater than stops.....

I am focusing on these 3 issues. I intend to only journal about those 3 things as I see those as my stumbling blocks.....

My focus is on:
1. Avoid the opening chop.
2. Honor stops
3. Ensure reward > risk on all trades
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  #519 (permalink)
Elite Member
Nashville, Tennessee
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninja / Jigsaw / 9G
Broker/Data: AMP / CQG
Favorite Futures: NQ, YM and ES
 
tderrick's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,589 since Sep 2010
Thanks: 4,260 given, 2,527 received

Glad to see your home, safe and sound,

Please try me again when you visit Tennessee next time.


AJ
Nashville, Tennessee


"Life On The Edge of SR"
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  #520 (permalink)
Elite Member
In the heat
 
Futures Experience: None
Platform: NT
Favorite Futures: Energy
 
PandaWarrior's Avatar
 
Posts: 3,155 since Mar 2010
Thanks: 6,306 given, 13,250 received



papa15 View Post
As to trading, I have had my ups and downs since last Fall. Recently, I have tried to step back and look at the big picture. I have never had a problem finding good entries; I suspect very few people have a problem with that especially if you read any of the threads on this forum. There are dozens of excellent systems here and it does not take very long to find one that you can feel comfortable with.

I have focused in on 3 main points that have been the fundamental reasons for my having so much difficulty getting positive traction in the market.

1. A good portion of my losses have come as a result of entering trades either pre-market or very shortly (with in the first 2-3 minutes) of the market opening. The pre-market volume is so much less than that after opening, it is really difficult to know the direction the market really wants to go. Waiting 10-15 minutes before entering adds a great deal of clarity and makes decision making a bit easier....so avoid the opening chop.

2. Not honoring stops. Often times I will move or cancel a stop as price approaches the stop (fear of being stopped out or of taking a loss). Rather than take a small loss, I move the stop and sometimes compound the issue by averaging down (adding to a losing position). Some call this trading with scared money. I believe it is an ego issue...not wanting to be proven to be wrong because you have not lost until the position is closed. Part of this issue for me has been I was trading too volatile an instrument for my skills and account size (CL) but I no longer trade that. I trade only NQ and 6B. I am able to handle the volatility of these 2 instruments and can have an appropriate stop size based on my account size. I recognize not all trades work. It is ok to be wrong; it is not ok to stay wrong......honor your stops.

3. Inverted risk to reward. I have almost always used a larger risk than reward as my stops have been larger than my profit targets, sometimes twice as large. When my trades were profitable, I made less than when I was wrong on a trade (this contributes heavily to point number 2 above). On a daily basis, my daily loss limit has been larger than my daily profit goal. Both of these result in a sure draw down of an account. I have had very high winning percentages in trades and in profitable days, but the losers have just overwhelmed the winners. This leads to a vicious circle. After a loss, you want to start winning again, so you take what profits you can get, cutting winning trades too soon. You can have a series of those but then comes a loser. If you have a losing day, it can take several days to recover. This money draining cycle must be broken......profit targets must be greater than stops.....

I am focusing on these 3 issues. I intend to only journal about those 3 things as I see those as my stumbling blocks.....

I think you've hit on some of the most important issues you can face as a trader.....I look forward to hearing more about your journey...

Recently, I've been focusing on a consistent way to determine market state. Its been a flip of the coin up til now....I've been focused so long on the entry then the exit that I forgot to make sure I had a consistent method to determine if I should even take the entry, let alone the exit.....

Good luck on your journey to improve these issues.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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