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Papa's Trading Journal

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  #1 (permalink)
 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
Experience: Intermediate
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I have been a member for several months now and fully intended to start a journal a while back, but kept putting it off. There are several reasons for that but none of them are really valid. Well, April was not kind ( I messed up a CL trade something fierce, then smacked myself up side the head and promised I would not trade CL again until I doubled the size of the account). Today was not a good one for me either. I keep making the same mistakes over and over, and I bet if I asked you for your top 10 list of mistakes, mine would be very similar.

Anyway, I am retired from the Navy. The pension keeps the bills paid. I am not trading to put food on the table, pay the mortgage, or keep the lights on. Neither am I out to get rich quick. My goal is to slowly grow a small account over time to assist my kids in sending their kids to college. The 14 in Papa14 is for the number of grandkids (it will soon have to change to Papa15). The bottom line is to be profitable.

Aw, but there is the catch. Everything I have tried has run into issues. My journey is probably similar to many:
1. Buy a program (in hindsight how could I have actually believed a $900 trading system will really work, especially one that has about 10 indicators and at least that many colors.....hint...it uses Ergodics)

2. Go to chat rooms....could not follow the calls...half the time could not tell if was supposed to be long or short since conflicting signals kept coming....not only was I not winning but was paying $249/mo for the privilege of losing...

3. Get educated....read books....buy dvd's...read forums.....great info but must be able to put into practice....

4. Sim trade....really well....very easy to take all trades when no real money involved.....if only could pay for college with sim money

5. Trade live...get the school of hard knocks....

Well, I could go on forever but most of you have been there and done that too, so no need to rehash what you already know.

The two biggest issues in my losing, beyond all others, is gap trading the ES and not cutting losers (honoring stops). I was told early on in the chat room phase that something like 85% of all gaps close and that if you go for a half gap fill, it is something like 95% success rate. All of that may be true, but I can tell you from personal experience if you are trading a small account with a relatively small stop you ain't gonna win 85% of the time (today both of those issues are what did me in, btw).

I am starting this journal to hold myself accountable to 1. Not trade gaps 2. Honor all stops 3. Improve my trading self discipline.

My method has evolved over time and since I am swearing off gap trading is down to one simple technique which I will explain in a minute. One of the changes I made recently was to switch from NT over to ThinkorSwim. I have been a customer for a long time and they gave me a much, much better rate than the advertised $7 RT. So all charts I post will be from TOS.

Since I am on a small account, I trade mainly the 6B in order to be able to do multiple contracts. I only use market hours. I put in a line noting the opening price for the day. If price is above the opening price, I only look for longs, and if price is below the opening, I only look for shorts. I use a 5 min chart. For a long situation, I wait for a red candle to close, and then put in a buy stop 1 tick above the high of the red candle. The stop is below the red candle. The target is usually at least 6 ticks if one contract, or 5 and 10 if 2 contracts. One of the issues I am working on is improving the reward/risk ratio. I have had trouble getting it to be above 1:1. In order to succeed, I know I must get there.

I have slowly weaned myself off of indicators, so don't expect to see any on my charts. The last to go was the Person's Pivots on ToS, but I must admit I still do occasionally look at them to see where potential S&R could be. For the most part, I just stick to my basic game plan. Oh, and I will quit trading for the day sometimes after one win.....remember I am not being pushed to make lots and lots of money....I do want to emphasize this is not a hobby but it is not my only source of income either....I do want to have time to enjoy those 14 (soon to be 15) little ones.... keep your priorities straight.

Oh, 1 thing I could use some help on is how to attach a ToS chart to a posting. I am not sure how to save the ToS chart. If anyone knows, please let me know. Thanks.

Papa14

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  #3 (permalink)
 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts, Investor RT, Ninja Trader
Broker: VanKar
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Had a large drop in the 6B overnight. Price opened and headed higher. I waited for the opening trading to take place and thus ignored the first red candle. I did put an order above the second red candle thinking the pound would trade back towards yesterday's close. That order was not filled. I watched price go below the opening price and watched the two green candles form taking price back above the open. I had a sell stop at 1.5152 and price dropped like a rock, and slippage caused me to fill at 1.5146 and price immediately jumped back to 1.5152. I had the stop above the opening price. Price meandered around for about 15 minutes, only going my favor by 1 tick. I was concerned with the large overhead gap , thinking price would go up. After about 20 minutes, I closed the trade for a scratch (losing only the commission). Had I been a little more patient, the market did go down and the trade would have been a full winner. There were plenty of other entry points, but I need to go do some chores, so decided this is a 1 trade day. Overall, down 1 commission.

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 max-td 
Frankfurt
 
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hey papa, welcome with your journal here !
we love good journals !

for pictures - take small a screenshot programm, make a shot of your chart + upload it here in the journal as attachement.

thats the easiest way to visualize your ideas here.

max-td
 
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  #5 (permalink)
 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
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Came back from doing my chores well after the regular trading hours were done and saw the 6B market made a big turnaround. Just before I left, I canceled my buy stop I had setting above the red candle at 9am (don't like orders when I can't watch). The market action brought to mind all that TRO used to say about entering near the low of the day after a green candle forms....just can't figure out real time when I have seen the low of the day. Any way, there were multiple entry opportunities on the way down in price and there were opportunities to get long above the opening price. Clearly from the low of the day at 1.5088 back to the opening price of 1.5158 there was a strong move up and most folks could find a suitable entry, but my rules say to sit on the sidelines and that is what I would have done had I been here.

The attached chart is a 10 min chart of today's action and is identical to my 5 min chart in appearance. It is my first time using a screen capture program so hopefully it works and I will get better at posting them.
Papa14

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  #6 (permalink)
 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
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The British pound had another overnight drop. It opened and almost immediately continued going down. I put in a sell stop below the second green candle, was filled and had 8 ticks fairly quickly. Remembering yesterday's price action, and visions of TRO, I decided not to short anymore and watched for rising prices.

Here is where I made two mistakes. I had a buy stop resting above the first green candle and it was filled on the doji at 10:45. With the large gap, I felt the market should continue up, so I put the stop beneath the hanging man candle at 10:25. When price approached it, I moved it lower, since I felt really certain the market should go back up. It did, but I was wrong to do what I did. Second, I moved my price target towards break even. I just wanted out. I did get out with a small profit. I could (and should ) have held on for a full 8 tick win. These are two mistakes I have repeatedly made and they have cost me big time. These are issues I need to correct.

A better course of action would have been to cancel the buy stop when the market went below and stayed below the opening price, then let the market trade back above the opening price, look for a red candle and follow the normal technique. Also, I noticed on a 10 min chart, there appears to be less noise. I will watch that over the next several days. I have read often that it is best to trade off larger charts as long as you can handle the increased stops required.

Overall, +9 ticks.

Papa14

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  #7 (permalink)
 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
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Had decided last night to take today off. Several reasons: 1. Thursdays have historically been a rough day for me for some reason 2. Elections in UK could have big impact on pound 3. Was going to re-arrange the office

Turned out to be a good decision not to trade. More volatility than I can handle

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 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Trading: NQ
 
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Posts: 527 since Sep 2009
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I continue to sit on the sidelines. The volatility is just too high for my liking. Market is being moved by a lot of cross currents and the moves are very large. For those with the stomach to trade this environment, there is the potential for great reward. For those, like me, with small accounts and a penchant for less violent moves, it is a good time to take care of the "Honey Do" list that seems never ending....the market will calm down eventually and plenty of opportunities will present themselves.

I also am taking a look at Big Mike's price action journal/method. ToS does not have range charts, so I am practicing on a 233 tick chart for 6B and a 512 tick chart for ES. I am using a 34 ema on these tick charts...long above the ema, and short below it....using HH/HL for longs and LH/LL for short.....so far, good results but not ready for prime time....

Papa 14

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 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Posts: 527 since Sep 2009
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I continue to sit on the sidelines. The volatility in the markets just does not fit my tastes. I am waiting for the European news and the banking systems to settle down. This is just a good time to paper trade.

Papa14

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 Big Mike 
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papa14 View Post
I continue to sit on the sidelines. The volatility in the markets just does not fit my tastes. I am waiting for the European news and the banking systems to settle down. This is just a good time to paper trade.

Papa14

Papa,

Do you have a particular indicator that determines 'too volatile'? Like do you look at VIX or Daily ATR for your instrument, etc, to determine this? Or, do you simply use subjective gut-based considerations to know when you want to start trading again?

Mike

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 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
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BM
Basically, I am on the sidelines now and have started a couple of projects that are taking some time. The projects need to get finished before I will go back to trading. Additionally, just went through some rough patches in the private life and want to clear my head from that. The world situation with debt (especially in Europe) is causing me some concern. When I look at all that, I think it is best to just sit on my hands with regards to trading.

As for an indicator, I consider the daily range and look at the individual range bars on the trading chart. I want those to be within my gut feel.

Once this spring cleansing is done, I will be back on a regular basis.

Thanks for a great site
Papa14

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 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
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Finished most of my projects (main one was a deck repair that I had put off for about 2 years). Looking forward to getting back to trading; intend to start next Tuesday.

During my away time, I have practiced with a new setup. I added the 8 and 21 ema's to my chart and then added an oscillator that plots the difference of the 8 and 21 ema's (just gives a better indication of when the crossover has occurred, obviously having both the ema's and the oscillator is redundant). With the increased volatility the market has shown recently, I find this addition to be useful. I also watched David Halsey at eminiaddict.com and liked his use of fib retracements to get targets and stop placements. One of the big issues in my past performance has been a tendency to cut winners short and let losers run (I know, I know, I am the only one that has done that). Forcing myself to look for bigger targets is a major objective near term.

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 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
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Well after a couple of weeks or so away from live trading, I stepped in front of a freight train today. I think I was biased to the downside for some reason and that colored all my thinking. In hindsight, being the first of the month, the bias, if any, should have been up. My charts were screaming at me the market had a bullish tint, but with 6B slightly above the weekly R1, I just knew the market would come down and I was going to be on that move. Well,....you can probably figure the rest of the story from there. I ended up with a large loss because of not honoring stops and revenge trading. It was a repeat of previous mistakes. Why do we continue to make the same mistakes over and over......this is the psychological part that Mike keeps talking about. I imagine just about all of us have setups that we have confidence in but yet most of us continue to put money in other people's pockets.

I really don't have any pressure to make a certain amount of money; there are no bills to pay from trading. But trading is exposing some character flaws that need correcting. I do not know where the market will go in the next second, minute, hour, or day. I just need to follow the price action, find the pullback, and get into the market. I must be patient to wait for the pullback. I must get over the fear of being left behind. Overconfidence, lack of patience, and greed/fear are the chinks in my armour. I must focus on those.
Papa14

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 Big Mike 
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Great post, papa.

And you are exactly right. I've said before that I had to change myself in order to be a profitable trader. Previously, I was a very "take charge" guy, leading, organizing, highly opinionated etc. Can't you tell? The market doesn't care for any of that crap. You are much better off being a follower in the market than a leader.

You kept trying to lead the market, because you thought it was going to reverse and head lower. If you had simply followed what was in front of you, price moving higher, then you would have been on the long side instead.

There is no right or wrong. Look at CL. We can be up 100 ticks in 1 hour, then right back down 100 ticks next hour, then right back up again. It is what it is, and nothing more, and nothing less. Trade what you see. It sounds simple. It sounds like an axiom. But, it is the truth.

Mike

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 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
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Thanks BM for the last post. I am working on changing myself, but it is the hardest thing I have done....I guess I am seeing how difficult other people must have perceived me over the years.

Anyway, I spent time over the last several weeks reviewing the opening move and why I kept messing those up. I found that if there is a gap and the ema's are headed in the direction to support closing the gap, a pretty good trade can be had. Also, I must wait to right at market open to enter. I have an indicator for the 15 min chart that shows half gap closure (yellow line), 4:15 gap close (blue line), 4 pm close (red line) and daily pivot (white line). The indicator in the bottom panel is the ema difference I mentioned earlier. I used this successfully yesterday and today. I quit for the day after those trades, and spent the time either doing chores or analysing market moves (getting in more screen time, looking to build to the 10,000 hours necessary for unconscious competence )

Papa

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 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
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Broker: VanKar
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Took today off. No trades. Hope all have a great weekend.
Papa14

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 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
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We are hosting 3 of our grandchildren this week, so I have not been trading. Can't really focus as I need to with all the distractions, so it is best to leave things alone. Plan on being back next week, although in my past efforts, the volatility associated with options expiration week (especially a quadruple witching week) has not been good for me. I intent to trade, but with caution.

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 Big Mike 
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papa14 View Post
We are hosting 3 of our grandchildren this week, so I have not been trading. Can't really focus as I need to with all the distractions, so it is best to leave things alone. Plan on being back next week, although in my past efforts, the volatility associated with options expiration week (especially a quadruple witching week) has not been good for me. I intent to trade, but with caution.

Good decision

I hope you enjoy the time with the grand kids

Have a good weekend,
Mike

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 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
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Well after what seems a long time, I think I am back to trading on a regular basis. Today, I made one trade. I did a trade in the direction of the gap on the ES. My moving averages were showing a retrace on both the 5 and 15 min charts at 0925, so I set a stop sell order at 1093. I only used a 1 point target since the half gap fill line was 6 ticks away. Entered about 0933 and out around 0950. Other considerations for keeping the target small is that this is a Monday, and Mondays can have an upward bias, especially at the open (all that pent up weekend demand I guess). Throughout the trade, the red line (diff between 8 and 21 emas was below the blue line (5 period MA of the difference) indicating market should be going down. Minimal heat. Anyway, happy with the result.

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 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Broker: VanKar
Trading: NQ
 
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This morning started a lot like yesterday. A reasonable gap, able to get in and make a quick one point target and was about ready to walk away when I realized it was a sim trade. Man, I coulda had a V-8. But never fear, there are other trades to be had.

My system is very straightforward and really requires very little subjective judgment. The market is either trending or in a pullback. Those are the 2 broad conditions. If the 8 ema is above the 21 ema, and price is above the open, it is an uptrend. If price is below the open and 8ema is less than the 21 ema, it is a downtrend. I added an ema difference indicator that helps clarify things a bit. If the red line (ema difference) is above the zero line and above the blue line (average of ema difference) it is an uptrend. If red line is above the zero line but below the blue line, it is a pullback. Trade off the trend of the 15 min chart; use the 5 min to help time the entry. Very simple in concept.

Now to this morning. I jumped the gun a bit. I was a little frustrated at myself for making such a dumb mistake. I saw the candle at 10 am (shooting star) followed by a red candle and a doji, and figured the market was going to turn and make a run at the gap fill. I quickly entered, looking for the measly 1 point that just makes me all warm and fuzzy....and I was run over. Notice that the trend is up on both the 5 and 15 min charts. My logic met reality.

I cut the loss and quit for the day. I then sat down and put all of this to paper. It was a great learning day and I hope it prevents others like this in the future.
Papa14

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 Big Mike 
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papa,

Good job on the details and the journal. Keep it up!

Mike

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 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
Experience: Intermediate
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After yesterday, I was determined to follow my rules more closely.

ES had about a 5 min gap around 0925 and the MAs showed momentum towards a gpa closure. I entered and then exited just after the opening bell. Yes, I could have stayed for more, but I was satisfied.

The second trade was on 6B just before 10am. It was a nearly picture perfect setup. A pullback on the 5 min chart that turned back in the direction of the trend on the 15 min. Able to get in and out quickly using a buy stop above the red candles of the pullback.

Added an indicator that shows today's open (blue line), yesterday's close (green line) and yesterday's high and low.

Papa14

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 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
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I let the ES gap trade go today. The response to the news at 0830 actually filled the gap and then it reopened by the time the market opened. I just was not comfortable with it and left it alone. I then watched the market for 30 min or so, and just after 10 am, saw a pullback on the 6B. I put a buy stop in at 1.4830 and waited for the fill. It did not take long, and the market just jumped in my direction....for a whole 3 or 4 ticks before it rolled over and nose dived. Market just went down and stopped me out. At entry, 5 min and 15 min charts indicated up trends, with 5 min in a definite pullback. A good setup, just did not work.

With 20/20 hindsight, a better entry would have been above the previous high (1.4836). Had I put it there, I would not have entered the market and thus would have missed the loss. Second item to note, is there was a news release at 10am and the market had not settled down from that announcement. There should have been a no-trade window around 10am (I knew about but just ignored it in the moment). I am writing about it to confess my error and write it firmly in my mind for future use.

Did a couple of trades later to mitigate this one. Will trade very lightly, if at all, tomorrow in respect of Options Expiration day volatility. Who knows where the market makers will take us?

Papa14

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 papa15 
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I started reading AZTrader's journal Friday and that linked to his elite journal. I read that with keen interest. It surely made me stop and think and I realized how far I have drifted from the original intentions I stated in the beginning. My underlying motive for trading remains the same. I just have been adding to charts and techniques at a rather brisk pace, and then when things don't add up as I expect they should, what is the matter? Don't know. Could be anything or everything or nothing.

Anyway, I decided last night that this is not a good week to trade real money. Too many distractions (refinancing the house, traveling to CA for birth of #15 grandchild, gotta pack, etc) and too many techniques and instruments. I am going to papertrade when I can, and look at 6B as the primary instrument of choice. I want to develop the skill to trade multiple contracts and that is my preferred instrument to do that. May not be many charts/journal entries this week.

Papa14

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 LukeGeniol 
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Good choise Papa, may focus on one technique with u fell better, and only one instrumet at time.

Luke.

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 PandaWarrior 
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I started reading AZTrader's journal Friday and that linked to his elite journal. I read that with keen interest. It surely made me stop and think and I realized how far I have drifted from the original intentions I stated in the beginning. My underlying motive for trading remains the same. I just have been adding to charts and techniques at a rather brisk pace, and then when things don't add up as I expect they should, what is the matter? Don't know. Could be anything or everything or nothing.

Anyway, I decided last night that this is not a good week to trade real money. Too many distractions (refinancing the house, traveling to CA for birth of #15 grandchild, gotta pack, etc) and too many techniques and instruments. I am going to papertrade when I can, and look at 6B as the primary instrument of choice. I want to develop the skill to trade multiple contracts and that is my preferred instrument to do that. May not be many charts/journal entries this week.

Papa14


Excellent choice Papa15! I think you are on the right path, If the indicators are not helping, get rid of them. A naked or almost naked chart is best. 6B is good to trade, I think you will do well if you focus on it and really make it your own.

Congratulations on number 15!

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 Big Mike 
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Congrats on #15 Papa

Send me a PM if you want your nick changed.

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 papa15 
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In case you didn't notice, the name has changed to Papa15. (thanks BM for the name change) #15 was born Monday. He weighed 9lbs 6 oz and is 22 inches long. Mom (my daughter) and son are doing fine.

I have not been following the markets all day. We are visiting her family at Edwards Air Force Base in Ca. It is truly a sunny (and hot) place. I get up around 6am PST. i am focusing on looking for the CL inside bar trades Jeff discusses in the Three Setups thread. It has worked well for the last 2-3 weeks I have followed it. I love the simplicity of it. Straightforward guidance, very little subjective criteria. Add it as a tool to your toolbox if you have not looked at it.

Papa15

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 Big Mike 
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Congrats again papa15.

Feel free to share some pics

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 papa15 
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I didn't trade today. The market was in one of its funks and I am leery of these types of markets (sudden reversals followed by resumptions). Days like this are better left for those more experienced and capitalized.

Grandson #8 (grandchild #15) came home today. Here are a couple of photos of the family.....

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 papa15 
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After a long weekend, markets came back strong at the open. I did one inside bar breakout on CL today. The technique is discussed in detail on Jeff's Three Setups thread. I only do the inside bar trade. Just too many distractions to watch the market for long, so any trade I catch here is a bonus.

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 papa15 
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Returned from our CA trip late Wednesday night. Passed through Phoenix airport again where it was 112. Here in NC it is a balmy 95 with about 75% humidity. I am just thankful for air conditioning.

Hated to leave #15 but we did bring his older brother back with us, and he will be here for a little over 3 weeks.

While in CA, I would get up about 6 PST and watch the market for about an hour and half or so each morning. I used Jeff's Three Setups thread as a reference and watch for nothing but inside bar setups using CL as the preferred instrument. I found they work amazingly well. The only loss I took was because I let my impatience beat me one day and I entered about a minute early (just KNEW the mkt would continue in the downward direction) only to watch the bar go to the low of the previous bar (the inside bar) and then reverse and start a strong move up. On one or two other occasions I took some significant heat, but the trades eventually paid off.

I have found that having a clearly defined set of rules and a setup that can be described in a very few short words that anyone can understand has made a world of difference for me. There is no more second guessing, or forcing the chart to say something that it really isn't, and it makes trading less stressful. I confess I am not going for large winners (most would say I leave a lot of money on the table and perhaps that is so, but when I go to an all you can eat restaurant I eat what I want and leave the rest, in other words I trade until I am content). As I stated in an earlier post, I am not trading to pay bills, but for a much longer term goal, so I take as much pressure as I can. Anyway, I have found Jeff's inside bar play to be one that fits my need so I am dropping (for now) all the other methods.

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 papa15 
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Folks
I have been a bit negligent on posting, so I will try to catch up. I have traded every day since last Thursday, with all the trades being on CL except one trade today on ES. My primary setup is the inside bar as discussed in Jeff's thread (and if you doubt trading CL on a 15 min chart is too hard to do, I challenge you to try it for 3 days, you will be very, very surprised). I have had success using a different technique since Thursday. This is a backup method. I look at the gap between yesterday's close and today's open, let the market open and watch it continue going away from the gap, set an entry order at the open price (or just a tick or 2 inside of it) and when the market reverses and then goes towards the gap closure, I am stopped into the move. I am not shooting for big gains, and so have been taking an amount that satisfies me, but....I have been looking at where the price goes and I can really improve my results just doing a half gap fill (which has hit consistently). For the gap fill trade, I use either a 233 or 333 tick chart. Anyway, I now consider I have 2 tools in the tool bag.

I have also been looking at other trading platforms/brokers since ToS does not have all the bells and whistles, etc of some of the better platforms.....but you know, this is good enough for me. My monthly cost of operations is $0.00 (no chart fee or data fee). Why change. My commissions are competitive. So I am staying put.

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 PandaWarrior 
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Folks
I have been a bit negligent on posting, so I will try to catch up. I have traded every day since last Thursday, with all the trades being on CL except one trade today on ES. My primary setup is the inside bar as discussed in Jeff's thread (and if you doubt trading CL on a 15 min chart is too hard to do, I challenge you to try it for 3 days, you will be very, very surprised). I have had success using a different technique since Thursday. This is a backup method. I look at the gap between yesterday's close and today's open, let the market open and watch it continue going away from the gap, set an entry order at the open price (or just a tick or 2 inside of it) and when the market reverses and then goes towards the gap closure, I am stopped into the move. I am not shooting for big gains, and so have been taking an amount that satisfies me, but....I have been looking at where the price goes and I can really improve my results just doing a half gap fill (which has hit consistently). For the gap fill trade, I use either a 233 or 333 tick chart. Anyway, I now consider I have 2 tools in the tool bag.

I have also been looking at other trading platforms/brokers since ToS does not have all the bells and whistles, etc of some of the better platforms.....but you know, this is good enough for me. My monthly cost of operations is $0.00 (no chart fee or data fee). Why change. My commissions are competitive. So I am staying put.

Congrats on the new tool and being profitable....

As to the platform, if its not broke, don't fix it.

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 papa15 
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Woke up to find the market gapped higher overnight. I watched the market move up sharply at 9am and then I set up the gap trade below the low of the first bar. Market did come down and missed my entry by one tick and then the market just took off. I watched for a while and canceled the gap play in face of the strength and then waited for an inside bar setup. The size of the bars indicated stop placement might be a concern, so I went and cut grass. Came in and saw an inside bar complete at 11:30 and took the trade. Made my profit and quit. This trade also met Jeff's no trade before the news criteria.

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 PandaWarrior 
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Good job, thats the way its supposed to be done....

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 papa15 
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Woke up to find the market had gapped down. The 9am opening price was 78.68, and there was a brief push upward before the downward movement continued. Once price started below the opening price, I put in a buy stop at 78.75 (one tick above the opening push up) and waited. Price went to about $78.40 and then quickly started moving up. My buy stop triggered around 9:08 and my profit target was hit quickly thereafter. Price continued on its upward move until it hit the half way gap fill, and then dropped again. My opening gap play was over.

I waited for an inside bar setup and it occurred on the bar that concluded at 9:30. My buy stop was hit at 9:38 and profit target hit shortly thereafter. I quit for the day.

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 PandaWarrior 
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that rocks...i love your no nonsense approach to trading....i think we all could learn something from that.

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 papa15 
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I did not think I would trade today. I am babysitting 4 of our grandchildren and I figured I would be too distracted to trade. Well, I tried to squeeze it in. Did 2 small trades on the opening gap play. I checked my monthly totals and realized I was like $1.10 away from my monthly goal.....so of course I only need 1 tick to get it. Actually I put on the trade for 2 ticks and of course the market took my money. Can't let that stand now can we? No, must make it back.

To make a long story short, I did recover and end up positive on the day (but a very minimal amount), but I did not trade well today. I reverted to some old, nasty habits. I stopped following my rules and setups. I broke my self-discipline. I traded 8 times. the same number of trades I made all of last week. Overtrading. Entering for wrong reason. Quite a disappointment. I do know better.

I looked over my trades so far in July. Before today, I only had 1 loss and that was a trade I entered before the inside bar completed, and my entry was not 1 tick below the inside bar but at its low, and thus not a valid entry. All valid inside bar trades I took in July were winners. I did take a lot of heat on a couple of trades, and one in particular I should have taken a loss but I "gave it a little more room" and it worked out. All of my opening gap plays were successful......every loss (and there were 3) were due to either improper execution or poor/invalid entries.

Even with success, there is much to learn and continue to work on........

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 papa15 
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After doing well in July, I took off several days. Today was the first day trading in about a week. I know the first day of the month is usually bullish, but when I saw the large gap up, I figured we would get something of a retrace. I waited for the open, saw the market make a very brief dip and then head higher. I put in a buy stop below the low of the initial flurry. I was stopped in about 2 minutes later. The market went about 2 ticks in my favor, and then off to the races. For whatever reason, I moved my stop and then cancelled it. It is a nasty old habit that has almost always come back to haunt me and it did today with particularly sharp teeth. Once I was underwater, I forgot to come back up for air. I waited for 9:30, but the market kept going up, waited for 10, but the same. Surely at 10:30 common sense will prevail and the market will come back. No it did not. There was no common sense here either. I lost and lost big.

If this was a one time event, it would be understandable. But it has happened before. Somehow I must get it thru this thick skull that Mr Market is bigger and badder than I am, he has much deeper pockets, and he will go in whatever direction he wants to go irregardless of what I think or hope. I must respect my rules and honor my stops.

I will also just stick to the IB trades for the remainder of this week. Nothing else.

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 papa15 
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Have you ever had a day or week where no matter what trade you took, you lost. No matter the setup, no matter the circumstances, it seemed Mr Market knew exactly where you set your targets and stops, and he took immense pleasure in just taking your money.......well this is one of those weeks for me.

I had a great July, but so far August has been awful. I have lost more in 3 days of trading (took Tuesday off) than I made in the last month. I am trying to get my head around it and I think I am on to something. My success in July was off of inside bars. I was in CA visiting my daughter and I would get up about 6 am PST, open up the computer and just wait for an inside bar. Nothing else mattered. I returned to NC and almost immediately started looking at the market around 8 am EST, and of course the mind starts seeing things. I started doing opening gap trades, with some success. My grandson is visiting so I would quit after the initial success (and thus not look for/wait for inside bars). This past Monday's huge loss was on such a trade. I just could not bring myself to take the quick stopout. That has been one of my major faults as a trader; if anyone has a solution, please point me in the direction. My self-discipline is not as strong as it needs to be, so help in that area would be welcome as well.

The IB setup works; the simple rules just need to be followed.

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 PandaWarrior 
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. That has been one of my major faults as a trader; if anyone has a solution, please point me in the direction. My self-discipline is not as strong as it needs to be, so help in that area would be welcome as well.

The IB setup works; the simple rules just need to be followed.

The key: "The IB setup works; the simple rules just need to be followed". This answers your question. You must follow the rules no matter what. Part of following the rules is ALWAYS placing the stop where @Jeff says you place the stop. No other option is valid. If you don't place the stop where he says, then don't trade his set up. Otherwise you are asking for it. There is a built in edge to the system, if you violate the rules, you invalidate the edge. Bad move. Its like always standing on 20 in blackjack, there is an edge, if you hit, you are busted......

You answered your own question.

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 papa15 
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Az
I know I answered my question. It is amazing the insight you gain when you force yourself to sit and write about your day; Mike is on to something with having folks use a journal that others can read. It is a real value to all of us.

Exposing all sides of my trading is really good; no matter how good a setup is, there is a certain probability the trade will fail. We all accept that. But when it fails, it is necessary to take the loss and move on. Writing about my failure to adhere to my stops is confessing my error. Now I just need to learn from it.It is a real value to all of us.

My real problem is getting to the computer too early; the mind wants to trade and I convince myself the setup I am looking at is really ok, take it before you miss the trade. I am looking for a way to alter that mindset. Reading and devotions, exercise, watching news are all ideas I am exploring. I want to master one setup before working on others. I need to take what the market gives from that setup. The idea of having a set amount to make on a daily basis is not such a good idea. Today for instance there has been only one good setup and that was coming out of the lunch hour. Not sure if I would have taken it. There are other days with multiple opportunities. For a host of reasons (truly valid ones) I have been limiting myself to one win a day. Starting next week, I should be able to spend all morning trading and hope to avail myself of any multiple opportunities available.

Thanks for your feedback.

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 PandaWarrior 
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Az
I know I answered my question. It is amazing the insight you gain when you force yourself to sit and write about your day; Mike is on to something with having folks use a journal that others can read. It is a real value to all of us.

Exposing all sides of my trading is really good; no matter how good a setup is, there is a certain probability the trade will fail. We all accept that. But when it fails, it is necessary to take the loss and move on. Writing about my failure to adhere to my stops is confessing my error. Now I just need to learn from it.It is a real value to all of us.

My real problem is getting to the computer too early; the mind wants to trade and I convince myself the setup I am looking at is really ok, take it before you miss the trade. I am looking for a way to alter that mindset. Reading and devotions, exercise, watching news are all ideas I am exploring. I want to master one setup before working on others. I need to take what the market gives from that setup. The idea of having a set amount to make on a daily basis is not such a good idea. Today for instance there has been only one good setup and that was coming out of the lunch hour. Not sure if I would have taken it. There are other days with multiple opportunities. For a host of reasons (truly valid ones) I have been limiting myself to one win a day. Starting next week, I should be able to spend all morning trading and hope to avail myself of any multiple opportunities available.

Thanks for your feedback.

Glad you recognized the issue. As to how much to trade, I don't really know the answer to that question. For me, it was 30 minutes a day then 2 hours, then 3 and now its back to 90 minutes. So from 6:30AM to 8AM PST is my trading hours. For one reason only. I get tired and my decision making goes sour. So 90 minutes it is. I get from 4-8 set ups during that time, I need to capture two of them without any losses or 5 with a loss or two. If 8AM rolls around and I have not made my profit goal, I don't keep trading. I switch to sim. That way I can practice but tiredness will not cost me money.

I would say that most professionals will tell you to trade what the market gives you, don't try to force the market to give you a certain number of setups or dollars each day. It does not care about what you want so therefore you must trade what you get, not what you want.

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 Big Mike 
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Papa,

Don't have blind faith. Don't take a signal just because you convinced yourself you should. You need to know your method inside and out. And it needs to be your method, not Jeff's. It may come from Jeff, it may be a combination of Jeff+Mike+bob+john+marley+me, but in the end, you must own the method 1000000000%. There is no 'jeff said' or 'mike said' or etc. It's you, and only you.

To own the method, you must know it back and forth, inside and out. These means you've traded it and tracked it for a long enough period to know the drawdowns, to know the odds of a winning vs losing trade, etc. It means a large sample size and large window. Until these are known, you really don't know anything

The journal is a powerful tool in getting you to realize past mistakes for what they truly are, and not just shrugging them off. Don't fall for "the market is out to get me". If you are in a drawdown or losing streak, first thing is cut your position size. Once you have several winners (days/weeks, up to you) then increase it again.

There is no system that can tell you when to enter and when to exit with exact stops and targets and be long term profitable. You may find a system that meets those requirements by curve fitting to historical data, but the future is another story. You must be adaptive in trading. More grey than black or white. Flexible. Cunning. Quick. Nimble. All those things, but certainly not rigid and robot-like.

It's true, many traders hit a brick wall in the psychology department. They may have a year of stats that tell them to hold a trade until 20 ticks, yet they constantly find themselves exiting at 10-12 ticks. In this way, you have to examine why that is happening and conquer it. It's no simple matter. It may seem like you want to be a robot and just hold to 20 ticks, but it is more than that.

Still, our minds are not wired to be good traders. You have to constantly remind yourself of that. We are raised and bred to avoid risks. Risk is how you make money in the market, but you need sensible risk, know when the odds are in your favor. You can't do this without a large amount of data gathered on live trades (not backtested).

Long story short, just cut your position size, keep asking important questions each day, be completely honest with yourself each day in your journal -- adding why you entered and why you exited on each position -- and then review that info daily with an open mind, knowing that isn't as simple as you think it should be.

Mike

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 papa15 
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Thanks Mike. All good advice.

The issue on the IB is found in a few posts back. When reviewing my July results, there was only one loss on IB, and that occurred because I rushed the entry before the bar completed. Had I waited, I would not have entered. Otherwise, all my IB trades were successful. I approached 95% success rate, something Jeff had mentioned in his first one or 2 posts on the The Three Setups thread. Only when I deviated and applied a different criteria did I start losing. The three losses this week were not off of IB bars either. The one winner was not an IB setup. Basically, I am confessing my failure to stick to my plan. I hope confession is good for the soul and to change my mindset.

I do not intend to trade tomorrow. A few too many distractions, so best to leave it alone. My goal for next week is simple. I want to sit in front of my computer and take every IB bar on the 15 min chart of CL that occurs between the hours of 9am to 1145 am EST (with a disclaimer that Tuesday I need to leave at 1115 for a luncheon). No dollar amount, no number of trade goals. Next week is to be a pure IB setup week.

I will use the journal to hold myself accountable to that.

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 papa15 
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Was focused on trading only Inside Bar setup on CL using a 15 min chart. With this being Monday, following a down day, did expect some bullishness. Being that tomorrow is FOMC day, kind of expected low volume, narrow range trading.

Woke up to find CL was up about 50-60 ticks from Friday close. The bar that formed between 8:45 and 9:00 EDT was an inside bar. With a gap up, my bias was for the market to retrace to at least the half gap point. I placed a sell stop at the low end of the bar, stepped back and looked and saw the market blast off. Following the IB setup exactly, I should have had a buy-stop entry at 81.49 but I didn't. Market spiked higher, then fell like a rock. It hit my sell stop and then my profit target just seconds later. Market did go on to hit the half way gap mark.

No more inside bars set up by 11:45, so I quit for the day.

I feel good about the trade even though I did not take the upper breakout of the original inside bar. I used all the info available to make the choice I did.

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 Jeff Castille 
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Hey Papa,

You got the "outside" bar.......nice work!

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 papa15 
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Jeff, I could have had a V8....it never even occurred to me that it was an outside bar.

Thank you again for the Three Setups thread.....it has really helped me. I am focused on making this my style of trading.....it is so much easier than what I did before.

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 Jeff Castille 
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papa15 View Post
Jeff, I could have had a V8....it never even occurred to me that it was an outside bar.

Thank you again for the Three Setups thread.....it has really helped me. I am focused on making this my style of trading.....it is so much easier than what I did before.

You are welcome.

I have also profited by putting the Reversals 6.1 indicator on 30 and 60 minute charts. This is something you may want to look into.

I was curious if you had the Reversals 6.1 indicator programmed for Think or Swim?

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 ikew 
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Papa,

Advising you to read cunparis post # 746 before you stat the sprint.... "In fact in just 2 days it almost wiped out an entire month of gains"


 
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 Jeff Castille 
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Papa,

Advising you to read cunparis post # 746 before you stat the sprint.... "In fact in just 2 days it almost wiped out an entire month of gains"


It would be good to read all of Cunparis' posts in the "Three Set Ups" thread. The fact that Cunparis nearly wiped out a month of his CL gains was attributable to his personal approach to the inside bar trade. An approach that obviously did not work and one that I don't approve of. I believe his failure was in his money management........but to each his own.

I am surprised that Ikew failed to acknowledge Cunparis when he said in post #746 and I quote Cunparis " So I want to say it's more about ME than the set up or method." Cunparis also admitted that he was distracted when trading two markets (ES and CL) and decided to stick to his ES trading.

If anyone is interested in reading the applicable posts in the "Three Set Ups" thread they are as follows: #746, #750,#787,#790.

Once again, Ikew, you have misrepresented the truth.......it is sad to watch you in action.

What I'd like to see is Ikew start a thread and show us all how he profits in the market on a daily basis. How about it Ikew? Will you step up to the plate?

Jeff

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 ikew 
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Again, Will not go personal. have a great day.

 
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 papa15 
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Jeff
I have read your entire Three Setups thread; it is one of my favorites. I understand how you can wipe out a lot of gains quickly, I had a big losing trade last Monday, but it was not a Three Setups trade. It was a gap fill trade. I found I was getting away from IB trades and focusing to much on gap fills. I resolved to concentrate this week only on IB trades using a 15 min CL chart. I have only one goal; take every IB trade between the hours of 9 am and 11:45 (except Tuesday when I must leave about 11am). I want to take what the market will give using only that technique.

My son helped me code a simple IB and outside bar in thinkscript. I have not tried the reversal bar yet. I did find a website that has some of the candle pattern indicators. I found and modified another indicator for the no lunch hour trade zone. I am not very good at originating code, but given something to work with, I will tinker until I get something to work.

I like ToS, but it has limitations. I would like a better ATM and would really love a daily loss limit function; the only platforms I know that has those are OEC and TransAct. What I really like about ToS is it is Java based and thus runs on any operating system and I can have multiple copies of it open.

I will look at the 30 and 60 min charts a bit more. I do have a 60 min one already setup, just don't look at it very often.

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 papa15 
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Big drop in market overnight....love how the pundits create reasons after the fact for what happens.....had an inside bar form again between 8:45 and 9 am, but it closed almost at its low and I was not able to put in my orders before it had dropped below the low of the IB....so just watched. Market drop from 79.95 open to 79.55 low before closing at 79.77. With such a large range, I expected the next bar to be an inside bar and it was. I caught the upside breakout and took a profit. I then looked to see if it would go below the low of the IB (making this an outside bar) and it did. I took a smaller target trade on this since I had been seeing lots of long tails at the low levels, but the market dropped all the way to 79.20. I watched for a while longer, saw an IB form on the 30 min chart at 10:30 and took the trade (note to self: your plan called for only doing 15 min charts, stick with your plan). Market moved my way for a few ticks and then dropped rapidly. Stop was 1 tick below the 30 min IB bar.....I took lots of heat (more than I am comfortable with) so when prices came back my way, I got out with a profit when I could. Was in the trade for nearly 18 minutes, most of which was heat....this reaffirms my note to self to stick with 15 min charts.

Overall though, 3 successful trades.....

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 PandaWarrior 
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papa15 View Post
Big drop in market overnight....love how the pundits create reasons after the fact for what happens.....had an inside bar form again between 8:45 and 9 am, but it closed almost at its low and I was not able to put in my orders before it had dropped below the low of the IB....so just watched. Market drop from 79.95 open to 79.55 low before closing at 79.77. With such a large range, I expected the next bar to be an inside bar and it was. I caught the upside breakout and took a profit. I then looked to see if it would go below the low of the IB (making this an outside bar) and it did. I took a smaller target trade on this since I had been seeing lots of long tails at the low levels, but the market dropped all the way to 79.20. I watched for a while longer, saw an IB form on the 30 min chart at 10:30 and took the trade (note to self: your plan called for only doing 15 min charts, stick with your plan). Market moved my way for a few ticks and then dropped rapidly. Stop was 1 tick below the 30 min IB bar.....I took lots of heat (more than I am comfortable with) so when prices came back my way, I got out with a profit when I could. Was in the trade for nearly 18 minutes, most of which was heat....this reaffirms my note to self to stick with 15 min charts.

Overall though, 3 successful trades.....

Good Job, sounds like a thinking man's trading day. Methodical. Thats the way it should be. Congratulations.

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 papa15 
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Woke up to find a big sell off in futures....guess the world did not like the FOMC actions, state of our economy, or whatever....

this being the oil inventory report day, wanted to be extra careful before 10:30. Jeff recommends not even trading until at least 15 min after the report. With the large sell off, I expected something of a pullback attempt, but the weight of the market falling to win out at least tin the short term. Had an inside bar form between 9:45 and 10. I put a buy stop above the high, was stopped in at 10:01 and out a minute or so later. Did not go for a big target because of the inventory report.

After the report the market fell hard. Had an inside bar form between 10:45 and 11:00. It was not only an inside bar but a doji as well. The previous 2 bars had large lower wicks, indicating some buying pressure, but the market was overall in a downtrend (from 60 min bars). To be honest, I was nervous about going short in this market, so I only put in a buy stop above the inside bar. The market went down to the low of the inside bar and came back up about 10 ticks, then rolled over and plunged. I missed the trade of the day.

Do I feel bad about missing the trade....no. Using discretion to stay on the sidelines, waiting for a better setup is ok in my book. I know I wanted to take every inside bar setup this week, and in one respect I did....I was just biased to the upside and I let the market go when it did not go in my direction. Not trying to call a bottom or a top and not trying to catch a falling knife are safe things to do....waiting for the next trade is the name of the game.

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 papa15 
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No trades today. Market again down big overnight, took big dip at 0830 unemployment claims and then started moving back up. Sure looks to me like an overdone selloff. But no inside bars, either before or after the natural gas inventory report.

The old me would have sat here and conjured up a reason to trade.....1/2 gap fill, oversold so catch a retracement, etc, etc. But I stuck to the plan...wait for a 15 min inside bar to trade. I did give the natural gas inventory report consideration (gave at least 15 min prior to and after the report for a no trade window). No inside bars, no trades.

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 papa15 
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We have lunch guests coming over in less than an hour so I have to cut today a bit short. One trade set up this morning and it was successful. (the first yellow bar that formed at 10:45, it was a short) .

Market has had a sell off this week, with oil down nearly $6/barrel since Monday. At least today did not have the major sell off overnight we have seen other days this week. This being a Friday in August, volume appears a bit lighter, so calling an early day makes sense to me.

To recap the week, had 6 inside bar trades and all were profitable. One was off a 30 min bar and I took a lot of heat on it, so I will leave those alone for now. My goal for next week is the same as this week....do 15 min chart inside bar trades on CL between 9am and 11:45 Eastern. I have started watching the 60 min chart and I added the 20 min (in lieu of the 30 min) but I am not trading those.

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 papa15 
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The candle from 8:45 to 9am was an inside bar, but it closed very close to its low and before I could enter an order the 9-9:15 candle had gone below the low of the pre-open pit inside bar. I let it go and waited for the next setup. It came at 10 am. I was a bit leery of that candle since it was near the daily low, but I entered my order, was filled and reached my profit target. I confess, I used a smaller profit target since it was near the daily low. Shortly after I was out, the market reversed and went up. I put an order at the top of the inside bar, was filled, and the market hesitated. I got cold feet, took another reduced profit target, and then watched the market breakout to new highs for the day. But it didn't matter, I was a happy camper....no more inside bars before lunch, so I quit.

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 Jeff Castille 
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The candle from 8:45 to 9am was an inside bar, but it closed very close to its low and before I could enter an order the 9-9:15 candle had gone below the low of the pre-open pit inside bar. I let it go and waited for the next setup. It came at 10 am. I was a bit leery of that candle since it was near the daily low, but I entered my order, was filled and reached my profit target. I confess, I used a smaller profit target since it was near the daily low. Shortly after I was out, the market reversed and went up. I put an order at the top of the inside bar, was filled, and the market hesitated. I got cold feet, took another reduced profit target, and then watched the market breakout to new highs for the day. But it didn't matter, I was a happy camper....no more inside bars before lunch, so I quit.

Hey Papa15,

Do you have rules for trading around news?

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 papa15 
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Jeff
I do. I look at news announcements for the day and if I think any release is a major mkt mover, I hold off before and after the announcement. I do account for the oil inventory and watch closely on the natural gas inventory. I didn't give today's announcements much weight though. Tomorrow though is a different story.....

For all my rules, I essentially went through the Three Setups thread and copied what I saw as rules.....

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 Jeff Castille 
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papa15 View Post
Jeff
I do. I look at news announcements for the day and if I think any release is a major mkt mover, I hold off before and after the announcement. I do account for the oil inventory and watch closely on the natural gas inventory. I didn't give today's announcements much weight though. Tomorrow though is a different story.....

For all my rules, I essentially went through the Three Setups thread and copied what I saw as rules.....

Hmmmmm........you know.....when I check the impact that a particuliar news event is suppose to have I am getting some conflicting information. On my "news " indicator, which I believe is fed by forex factory, it rated the 7:00 am pst news as high impact......yet when I look at the forex factory website the 7:00 news was rated "low" impact. This is troubling as I have been standing aside for both high and medium impact news announcements.

Perhaps I should not rely on the news indicator........might have to go back to checking every morning......

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 steve2222 
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Jeff Castille View Post
Hmmmmm........you know.....when I check the impact that a particuliar news event is suppose to have I am getting some conflicting information. On my "news " indicator, which I believe is fed by forex factory, it rated the 7:00 am pst news as high impact......yet when I look at the forex factory website the 7:00 news was rated "low" impact. This is troubling as I have been standing aside for both high and medium impact news announcements.

Perhaps I should not rely on the news indicator........might have to go back to checking every morning......

Jeff, what I have been doing is noting how CL reacts to various news releases in previous weeks and then using that information to decide if I will stand aside for a particular news release today.

This is because I believe that Forex Factory's weighting/importance is their preceived impact on the FX market, which may or may not impact CL to the same degree.

Having said that, I always stand aside for Oil, Gas and (Un) Employment news.

 
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 papa15 
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I looked at today's announcement and it just did not register with me as something that has moved the market in the past....

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 papa15 
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I deviated slightly from my plan today......

Market was up overnight; not a real surprise as I sort of thought the recent selling was a bit overdone. Had an inside bar form on the 20 min chart from 9:20 to 9:40, so set a sell stop at the low of the bar and was stopped in. Had a normal price target, but did not like the way the price action was going (every little selling burst was met with more buying) so after several minutes I cut the trade for a 1 tick profit. Market then went up. An inside bar completed on the 15 min chart at 10am, so I set a buy stop above it and was stopped in. Again, I did not like the way price was moving, just seemed dull and lifeless. I reached my profit target and gladly got out. Price then rapidly dropped. An outside bar appeared to be forming on the 20 min chart, so I set a sell stop and was stopped in. I normally don't play the outside bars so I set a reduced target, hit it, and called it a day.

An observation I have made watching CL for the last couple of months is that it has a strong tendency to do half gap fills. Today's half gap fill was from 95.96 down to 95.51. The market made an initial move as if going to do the fill (that was the 20 min IB play, but then it ran up). Its next attempt was on the outside bar play and it went on to make it. What I am missing is the ability to identify the false moves from the real ones....and until I do, I am sticking with the inside bar play (the outside bar play to me is a close cousin to the inside bar)

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 papa15 
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Today is the weekly oil inventory release at 10:30, so trading before the release is hazardous to your account (tread very softly if at all). Overnight there was some private firms release of oil inventory and it showed a huge buildup (more supply prices drop) and oil futures were down big. I watched the market action. One inside bar formed on the 10 min chart at 9:50 but prices were way low already and the oil news was only 40 min away, so I did not trade that candle. The 10:30 report came and the market took off like a rocket. The gov't report indicated an oil inventory drawdown (less supply, higher prices). But the rocket ran out of fuel and came back down. An inside candle formed at 10:50 on the 10 min charts. I did place a sell stop beneath the candle, was stopped in and profit target reached. I do use a slightly lower profit target on 10 min candles than 15 min ones. The candle from 10:50 to 11am ended with a long lower wick indicating buyers coming in to the market. Prices did push on into lunch with no more inside bars.

Trading over news is fraught with danger. Who knows what the news report will say, or better yet, what the market reaction to the news will be. I have seen a news report miss the projected number and the market react positively; I have seen better than expected numbers and the market plummet. It is just best to not trade over news releases. Give the beast some space and keep your money to trade another day.....

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 papa15 
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News continues to have a major impact on the markets. Today's unemployment claims crossed the 500k threshold and reversed what looked like a positive mood for the market. Big drop as soon as the news was released at 8:30 Eastern. Had an inside bar form from 8:40 to 8:50 on the 10 min chart, and I took the trade. Made my profit goal. The 15 min bar that closed at 9 was an inside bar and I took that trade also and made profit. Had another inside bar form on the 10 min at 9:20 and took that also. Made goal and quit for the day. News was due out at 10 (Leading Indicators) and 10:30 (Nat gas inventory). I had already made the daily goal so I quit for the day.

The 10 min chart has looked promising. Obviously more signals can form, but for me, the biggest advantage is the range is less and thus the stops are not as big. I am still watching these, but have traded it some. I was not real comfortable doing the first trade before the pit opened in NY and I don't want to make that a habit.

Given that this is options expiration week and markets can do some funny things on Thursdays and Fridays of that week, I am probably done for the week. I had 9 trades this week. All 9 were profitable, although 1 only had a 1 tick profit. Seven were pure inside bar trades and 2 were its first cousin the outside bar.

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 papa15 
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I just want to let everyone know my trades are real money trades. Just noticed the chart in the previous post indicates it is from the ToS papermoney chart. I made that after the fact on my laptop but traded live on the desktop. I shut down the live platform when I quit for the day (yes, something learned through the school of hard knocks).

The inside bar trading has made a huge impact on my results. To be very honest, I used to dread options expiration week when trading the ES. The volatility during the week wrecked havoc on my results. Switching from ES was a good thing IMHO and switching to IB trading was a great thing. My charts are cleaner, my head clearer, and the results much better.

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 papa15 
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Two fairly quick trades today. The first occurred at 9:02. An inside bar completed at 9 am on both the 10 min and 15 min charts. I set a sell stop 1 tick below the low of the IB and was stopped in and my profit target hit right away as prices took a tumble towards the gap fill. In fact, my sell stop executed at the selected price but slippage on the profit target added several ticks in my favor (first time that has happened). I have seen these quick moves up and down before but never been in a trade when it happened. The extra ticks were nice but I know it could just as easily been going through my stop loss the same way.....The second trade took place at 9:37. I missed the break below the inside bar at 9:30 (actually I let it go as I was a little biased the market would go up). I took the outside bar trade. I then watched prices keep going up and decided to call it a day.

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 papa15 
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I had my first loss on an inside bar trade today. It was the 24th trade of the inside bar setup (not counting the outside bar ones), so no complaints from me. I must confess there was an IB trade in July I should have cut but I let it play out and it turned profitable. And truth be told, if I had done the same today, I would have ended up profitable also.

I did not have the stop loss below the IB. The range of the bar was too large for me to feel comfortable with that large of a stop loss. But as soon as I was stopped in to the trade on a buy stop, the market dropped rapidly. I moved the stop a little closer to the low of the IB and set back. The stop was hit. And the market went 2 more ticks down and reversed back up. So, just as baseball is a game of inches, trading is a game of ticks. Today 2 ticks was the difference between a loss and a win.

Looking back at the trade, there are lessons to be learned.
1. Market was down big overnight and the 10 am news was not good, so there was another drop just after 10. Just an overall negative atmosphere to the market. Quite honestly probably just best to walk away in that kind of an environment. My entry was a long, but it was above the open of the pit session.
2. The ranges of the bars was a bit larger than usual. Buyers obviously wanted to go up, but sellers wanted to go down. They were having a real tug of war. Overall, looking at the big picture, the market was in a wide range between 71.90 to 72.20 or so. If the range is larger than my comfort zone, walk away. Really the range issue is the reason behind my looking at the 10 min chart. Had I traded off that chart today, there would have been no trades....

Ready for the next trade.
Papa15

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 papa15 
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I want to start off by saying today was a profitable day on the bottom line. That being said, I took a couple of steps back in my trading.

I have noticed that when price closes outside a Keltner Channel (based on 1.5 ATR, 21 ema using H+L+C/3), price has a tendency to go back to the moving average. The way I practiced this, I would set a price well within the Keltner Channel so price would be on its way to the MA and then exit just shy of the MA. Such an opportunity presented itself at 8:50 this morning on the 10 min chart. I did a real money trade. I set the buy stop at 71.38 and was stopped in. MA at the time was about 71.57 or so. The prior bar also happened to be an inside bar. I watched with increasing concern as price went 2 ticks in my favor and then did a prompt drop all the way to 71.10. I held on. At 9:00 am the market opened at 71.16. Price took off toward the MA. As soon as I was in the green I went to the sidelines. Why? 1. I had no business in this trade. 2. I was just grateful the heat/pain was gone.

Next at 9:30 an inside bar formed. Price had made it to the MA, so with the negative funk over the market the last few days, I thought price would go back to the lower Keltner Channel line. I set a sell stop, was stopped in, watched prices go about 2 ticks in my favor and then just take off. I again held on, figuring in my self excusing way, the market is just going up in order to have a gap fill on the emini's...surely it will come back down. I held and held....getting closer to 10 am news on new housing. With the housing data from yesterday being bad, surely today's data would be bad also. The news spike at 10 am did get me out of the trade, but I forgot to cancel my stop loss. The market reversed and stopped me in. I flattened that trade for a profit.

I realized how blessed I was to be out with a profit after trading so poorly. First of all, I should not have done a real money trade on a technique I had not practiced in a while. Big Mike's 2 week rule is a good one. Second, this is a big news day. Jeff recommends not trading before the oil inventory report....another good practice I did not follow.

Finally, the oil inventory data was bearish, the market sold off hard, so you would expect a reaction. On the 15 min chart, an inside bar formed with the top of the IB right at the lower Keltner Channel band. Probability was high that prices would go in the up direction towards the MA. I set a buy stop, was stopped in and hit my profit target just seconds later. I used my reduced profit target rather than the MA, but if you look at a 15 min chart you will see the MA was touched.

The last 2 weeks have been very good because I stuck to a plan. I deviated some this week and the increased heat was the result, so back to what has worked....

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 papa15 
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After I quit trading yesterday, I reviewed the use of the Keltner Channels as an aid to trading. I found my mistake in yesterday's trading. Once price closes outside the Channel, you need to wait until price closes back inside the Channel before you consider entering a trade. Typically price will come back inside the channel, but in those instances where the market is moving strongly up or down, the price bars will tend to stay outside the channel. Frequently in those moves, price will make an excursion back into the channel but will then turn and go back outside. Once price closes within the channel, it has a strong tendency to move back to the moving average on which the channel is based.

Given all that, today on the 10 min chart, there was a strong response at the 8:30 weekly unemployment report and price took off outside the channel, but closed right at the channel line. The next candle formed an inside bar with price closing well inside the channel. I set a sell stop below the inside bar and gave it an extended target (at least for me) since the MA was much further than my normal target and yesterday's closing price was beyond that. Once my order was in, the next candle continued up (I like to see the initial move go away from the order point) then turned and stopped me in. Price continued to my profit target, giving very little heat. Price continued to fall all the way to below the lower band of the Keltner Channel and then the bar that closed at 9:30 was another inside bar that brought price back within the channel. I set my order, was stopped in and promptly hit my profit target. Price went to within 2 ticks of the MA, then turned down. The 9:50 bar was an inside bar. I set a sell stop beneath the low, was stopped in and quickly hit the profit target. I did use a reduced target since the lower channel bar was close by.

I did miss the opening inside bar play on the 15 min chart. Once the IB formed at 9am, price dropped rapidly below its low, before I could get the order put in. I don't want to chase the trade, nor do I want to set the order too far in advance as I have been burned doing that before. I would rather miss the trade.

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 papa15 
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Today had some important news early; GDP revision at 8:30 and Bernancke speaking at 10. Plus it is a summer Friday. Given that, I wanted to trade in between the news items giving them a 15 min cushion.

The GDP revision was not as "bad" as the pundits claimed it would be, so the market seemed to like the less bad news and oil spiked from about 73.22 to 73.69. On the 10 min chart, it closed right on the upper Keltner line. Ideally it would have closed outside the channel. The bar that closed at 8:50 was an inside bar that closed inside the channel. Yesterday's close was around 73.11, so the biased direction was for price to go down. I thought about putting the sell stop beneath the body of the 8:50 bar, but decided to stay with the IB guidelines of 1 tick beneath the low (beneath the wick). Was stopped in and the market chopped around a bit until 9am when it did a prompt drop, dropping all the way to 73.03 which was right on the lower Keltner line. The next bar was an inside bar that closed inside the channel, so I placed a buy stop above its high, was stopped in and price continued to rise to the profit target. I was content to stop.

For the week 11 of 12 trades were profitable. On 2 trades I took excessive heat but held on. In hindsight, better to cut the trade, regroup and start over rather than risk more than I should. I am willing to take the risks necessary to trade but do have limits and must remain within those in order to be prudent.

Adding the Keltner Channels has helped with the IB trades.

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 papa15 
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Last week was really successful. Had an inside bar loss but recovered and met weekly goal. Was expecting this week to follow suit, and it still can. However, not off to a great start.

Market went up last Friday on news that was not as bad as expected or just as a result of being oversold or for whatever reason. Overnight CL was in a downtrend. Had a inside bar on the 15 min chart right at the ma of the Keltner Channel. With Friday's close above, I was biased for prices to go up, but prices turned down instead. For whatever reason, and I guess it was just that I really expected the market to go up, I did not have a sell stop below the inside bar, so I missed that trade. Price went below the Keltner Channel and then the 9:30 bar closed below the channel. The 9:45 bar closed above it, and I expected prices to go to the vicinity of the MA, so I put a buy stop in. It was filled, but I noticed not as soon as it should have been (price had gone above the entry price by a tick or so without it filling.) Price went a couple of ticks in my favor and then dropped, went through the stop without it triggering, and continued down. I watched and price turned around and came back up above the stop and towards my entry price and then dropped again. It started up again, and was about at my entry price (I was going to cut the trade then) when my system informed me the stop was hit (several minutes prior). ToS did an upgrade over the weekend and it must not be running very well or they are having server problems. I tried one other trade but it was having execution problems as well...the trade did not trigger at all.

The loss today is my fault for 1. missing the IB trade 2. Putting real money on the Keltner Channel indication alone. It should be an assist in the IB trades. ToS's issues did not help matters, but are not the reason for the loss.

I quit until tomorrow. Hopefully ToS will resolve their problems by then.

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 itrade2win 
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Market went up last Friday on news that was not as bad as expected or just as a result of being oversold or for whatever reason. Overnight CL was in a downtrend. Had a inside bar on the 15 min chart right at the ma of the Keltner Channel. With Friday's close above, I was biased for prices to go up, but prices turned down instead. For whatever reason, and I guess it was just that I really expected the market to go up, I did not have a sell stop below the inside bar, so I missed that trade. Price went below the Keltner Channel and then the 9:30 bar closed below the channel. The 9:45 bar closed above it, and I expected prices to go to the vicinity of the MA, so I put a buy stop in. It was filled, but I noticed not as soon as it should have been (price had gone above the entry price by a tick or so without it filling.) Price went a couple of ticks in my favor and then dropped, went through the stop without it triggering, and continued down. I watched and price turned around and came back up above the stop and towards my entry price and then dropped again. It started up again, and was about at my entry price (I was going to cut the trade then) when my system informed me the stop was hit (several minutes prior). ToS did an upgrade over the weekend and it must not be running very well or they are having server problems. I tried one other trade but it was having execution problems as well...the trade did not trigger at all.

The loss today is my fault for 1. missing the IB trade 2. Putting real money on the Keltner Channel indication alone. It should be an assist in the IB trades. ToS's issues did not help matters, but are not the reason for the loss.

I quit until tomorrow. Hopefully ToS will resolve their problems by then.

Hey Papa,

I noticed that you have a lot of expectations with your trading. I believe you should never have expectations what the market should do. That's a formula for destruction IMO. What I do is look to build a case, if the market goes up to this level then I will ss. If the market goes down to this level I will go long. Now I just don't lob an order out there, when getting close to the level of interest I then focus on my 1 min chart and that is mainly the time I look at that chart and look at the tape and Dom. I want to know how we got to that level. I decide on the O&P and then make my entry or not. I hope this makes sense and is helpful.

Cheers
itrade2win

 
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 papa15 
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itrade2win
(love that name btw)
I tend to trade better when I use less indicators and go with the flow of the trade. For the inside bar method that means go with the breakout direction, be it up or down. I admit I have been looking at the early morning opening and being biased by yesterday's close, and thus have missed several trades that went the other direction, and recently I added the Keltner Channel and that has also biased me. I am leaning more to getting back to the core basic inside bar.

I used to use a smaller timeframe chart and build the case just as you do. I found more often than not I confused myself.....I seemed to be able to make the story go either way.....is it going to hit a resistance level and drop or is it going to go to a new high and thus meet the higher high breakout.....(would find myself like the kid the night before Christmas with visions of sugar plums).....the use of the IB has allowed me to get down to a very simple setup that I can explain in very few words and I have reduced the number of monitors, charts, etc....in fact, I often trade on just my laptop.

I hope this makes sense. I am finding this works for me.

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 papa15 
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Opened up ToS and it appeared to be working normally....thankfully.

Prices down overnight, and this morning was loaded with news at unusual times. Home Prices was at 9am, Chicago PMI at 9:45 and consumer confidence at 10am. Volume yesterday was very light and the remainder of the week volume is expected to be light as those on the major trading desks get in the last of their summer vacations.

The news was released at 9 am and prices initially went down. I normally don't play the news but in this case I put in a buy stop above the previous candle in case the market reversed the inital reaction. It did and the trade worked. This was an outside bar play.

At 9:30, an inside bar formed. The closing price was outside the Keltner Channel. I put in a sell stop thinking prices would come back inside the Channel. Price did exactly that. This was an inside bar play.

I waited until after the 10 am news which turned out to be better than expected on consumer confidence. The market had an immediate positive reaction. I watched it 74.73 and then come back down. The candle ended with a small real body and a long wick, with the closing price inside the channel. I put in a sell stop beneath it, was stopped in and hit my profit target. I used a slightly smaller target on this trade. This was a reversal bar trade.

So, today I did all three of the setups Jeff discussed in his Three Setups thread. My favorite, and most used, is the inside bar trade.

I may be able to trade tomorrow but Thursday am taking my mom to a doctor's appointment and Friday is sure to be a very light volume day, so I probably will not trade either of those days.

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 Big Mike 
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Good job papa. You may want to read @Fat Tails thread on volatility, I think he discusses day of week volatility (namely Friday).

Mike

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 papa15 
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Thanks Big Mike. I looked at Fat Tails volatility thread the other day and I am incorporating his timing.

Market was up big overnight for who knows what reason (first of month, President's speech, just glad to get out of August, etc). Lots of new today also. I try to give at least a 15 min cushion on news. There was an inside bar play on the 15 min CL at 9:30. I was biased to the downside due to the Keltner Channel position of the candle and when it closed just below the upper channel line, I put in a sell stop below the IB but not a buy stop above. I was stopped in, but I really did not like the price action at all. Just no downside momentum at all. Lots of quick upward spikes of 2, 3, 4 ticks followed by a slow decline....end result, I reduced the target and cut the trade. Waited until after all news. Didn't like the price action so just quit. Most likely done for the week.

Days like today are the hardest for me to trade. My use of the Keltner Channel gives me a bias in direction. When the market gets its hair on fire and just runs, this bias works against me. I am working on it. Most of the time, the bias plays in my favor but on big trend days it does not; sorting this out will help me quite a bit.

Something else I have noticed recently that does not seem to jive with my memory. Oil is moving in conjunction with equities. I seem to recall when oil went up, equities went down due to concern over increased energy costs, and vice versa. But now, if equities go up, oil goes up; equities go down, oil is down. Any one else notice this? Or is it my memory is faulty (that could be).

Anyway, if I don't write anything else this week, I hope everyone has a great Labor Day weekend.

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 papa15 
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Hope everyone's Labor Day was relaxing. Now that the holiday is behind us, perhaps volume will pick up again. I expect the market will continue choppy in the near term.

Historically, September is the weakest month of the year for stocks, so the market typically goes down, but is this market acting typically? I have no idea what to expect tomorrow or any day this week or month. What I do know, is I am sticking with the inside bar method. I reviewed my results for July and August. I had two losing IB trades. When I attempted other methods, the results were not nearly as good. My efforts to expand my toolbox did not work as well as I would have liked, so I am going to be a one trick pony for a while.

For those that do not use NinjaTrader (I don't) I added a page to Big Mike's Journal Excel spreadsheet. This page will provide some basic statistics that a trader should know. It is not as extensive as NT's but it is better than nothing. I posted the spreadsheet in the educational section.

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 papa15 
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Market opened down from Friday's close. Waited for an inside bar setup. One appeared on the 10 min chart at 0930. Set my sell stop order and waited. Was filled and profit target quickly hit. Continued watching. Had a good setup on the 15 min chart at 11:00 but price was right on the lower boundary of the Keltner Channel so I passed on the trade.

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 PandaWarrior 
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Market opened down from Friday's close. Waited for an inside bar setup. One appeared on the 10 min chart at 0930. Set my sell stop order and waited. Was filled and profit target quickly hit. Continued watching. Had a good setup on the 15 min chart at 11:00 but price was right on the lower boundary of the Keltner Channel so I passed on the trade.

What are you using for a profit target?

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 papa15 
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For the first contract (and I am only trading one now) I use 1/2 the range of the inside bar, minus 1 tick. Basically, I add 1/2 the range of the inside bar to the high and subtract it from the low. Since the entrance is 1 tick beyond the inside bar's range, the target is 1 tick less than 1/2 the inside bar range. When I add a second contract, that target will be the range of the inside bar, minus 1 tick.

Yes, I know this has more than twice the risk as reward, but over 2.5 months, the win rate has been over 90%, so the strategy is profitable.

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 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
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I have to confess that I did not trade well today at all.....boredom and overconfidence did me in. In the final analysis, it was an inexpensive lesson but it could have been so much worse.....

Market opened at 9am and just went up. I have no idea why and really could care less as to why. I have a method that I have confidence in and if I will just trade what I see, all will come right. But sitting here, watching candle after candle form without a setup, impatience starts to sit in. My mind starts playing games, seeing other setups, "missed" opportunities, etc and the clock starts ticking down to the end of the trading period ((9-11:45 for me) so I want a piece of the action.

At 9:51, I thought I saw an opportunity. Candles had been closing above the Keltner Channel band, but then price came back inside bands, and I figured it would make a run for the moving average.....I entered with a small profit target...it was hit but then price turned and ran higher.....I could have been run over. I should NOT have taken this trade even though it was profitable (I am only posting the 10 min chart, and the setup looked a bit better on the 15 min but none the less, it was not a good trade).

Feeling good after making some money, I continued watching for an inside bar setup, but none seemed to be forthcoming.....so around 10:58 I saw that price had made a lower low followed by a lower high and was heading down again towards the moving average. Why not pick up a few ticks....so I tried to jump on the train but found myself going the opposite direction and rapidly. As soon as you recognize the trade is not working, what are you supposed to do....that's right move your stop.....say it isn't so, but that is what I did. There is NO justification for that action, here or really any other time. I took an enormous (for me) amount of heat. My palms actually were sweating....I hate that feeling. I held on using the Keltner Channel as sort of a guide....I did have a cut loss point. Finally, price came back down to where I cut the trade with a "reasonable" loss on this trade and for the day. The trade management on this trade was terrible and without excuse.

I am at breakeven for the week (after 2 days) so I feel blessed in that respect. I feel terrible in that 1) I deviated from my "one trick pony" routine out of sheer boredom I guess 2) I moved a stop.....it is an old nasty habit that has cost me more money than I care to admit.....

I don't know why but Wednesday appears the toughest day of the week for me to trade. Maybe next week I will just observe it.......

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 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
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The last 2 weeks or so have been much harder to trade....don't know if it is the volume or what but I am having a harder time getting in synch....just trusting the system...

Today was a profitable day but I violated a rule.....first trade was a short after an inside bar off of the 15 min chart. Inside bar formed at 9:30. Market was showing all kinds of strength but price violated the bar low first. I took the trade but the price action really indicated the market was going to go up, so I took reduced profit. The second trade was a short at 10:11. The 10 min chart had 2 inside bars in a row (there was an unusual set of circumstances also, on the 10 min chart the 9:50 and 10 am bars were mirror images with same low and high, and on the 15 min chart, the 9:45 and 10 am bars had the same high and low. I interpret this to mean there was a lot of indecision in the market). On the 10 min chart, the 10:10 inside bar closed right at the upper Keltner Channel line. I put a sell stop below that bar low. Jeff's guidance was to put the orders at the extremes of the first inside bar, but the Keltner Channel influenced me to alter that, as well as the fact all the previous bars had support around 75.50. I set my profit target just above that price and it was hit.

We were now within 15 min of news...I should have stepped aside but I saw the 15 min chart break below the 10:15 inside bar and I took the bait....I sold at the low. With all the selling that had taken place above 75.75, I gave a wide stop. Just before news I expanded the stop and then lowered it. I continued to hold as the market just hung in the 75.65-75.75 area. Just before the 11 am oil inventory report, I expanded the stop. The market came down and hit my revised exit. But again, I reinforced why the rule was there in the first place...Look at the bar at 11 am.....it is not a time to be in the market.......

I am done for the week. We will be on a mini vacation at a local lake for the next couple of days. Overall a profitable week money wise, but even more so in lessons learned.....

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 Jeff Castille 
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papa15 View Post
The last 2 weeks or so have been much harder to trade....don't know if it is the volume or what but I am having a harder time getting in synch....just trusting the system...

Today was a profitable day but I violated a rule.....first trade was a short after an inside bar off of the 15 min chart. Inside bar formed at 9:30. Market was showing all kinds of strength but price violated the bar low first. I took the trade but the price action really indicated the market was going to go up, so I took reduced profit. The second trade was a short at 10:11. The 10 min chart had 2 inside bars in a row (there was an unusual set of circumstances also, on the 10 min chart the 9:50 and 10 am bars were mirror images with same low and high, and on the 15 min chart, the 9:45 and 10 am bars had the same high and low. I interpret this to mean there was a lot of indecision in the market). On the 10 min chart, the 10:10 inside bar closed right at the upper Keltner Channel line. I put a sell stop below that bar low. Jeff's guidance was to put the orders at the extremes of the first inside bar, but the Keltner Channel influenced me to alter that, as well as the fact all the previous bars had support around 75.50. I set my profit target just above that price and it was hit.

We were now within 15 min of news...I should have stepped aside but I saw the 15 min chart break below the 10:15 inside bar and I took the bait....I sold at the low. With all the selling that had taken place above 75.75, I gave a wide stop. Just before news I expanded the stop and then lowered it. I continued to hold as the market just hung in the 75.65-75.75 area. Just before the 11 am oil inventory report, I expanded the stop. The market came down and hit my revised exit. But again, I reinforced why the rule was there in the first place...Look at the bar at 11 am.....it is not a time to be in the market.......

I am done for the week. We will be on a mini vacation at a local lake for the next couple of days. Overall a profitable week money wise, but even more so in lessons learned.....


Hey Papa,

This morning was an especially tough morning because BOTH the Oil inventory report AND the Gas report were released the same morning because of the Labor Day holiday. As you know I prefer NOT to trade before the oil inventory report.

Jeff

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 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
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Jeff
I understand your point.....I have found giving a 15 min cushion around news has worked. I really am not sure why I allowed myself to get in that last trade....it was a mistake no doubt about that.....the response at 11 am when the oil inventory report was released is just absolute confirmation that it is not smart at all to hold a day trade over a major news announcement.

This week we seem to be making a big move overnight, holding some range in the morning, and then a big move toward the close. Yesterday and today I watched the 2pm breakout that you discussed in the All You Need thread....still has potential there....

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 papa15 
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Been away from trading all week due to illness/death in the family. Don't know when will resume; probably sometime next week but not certain.

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 Big Mike 
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papa15 View Post
Been away from trading all week due to illness/death in the family. Don't know when will resume; probably sometime next week but not certain.

Sorry to hear about your loss. Take your time before jumping back in trading, you need a clear head

Mike

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 Laserdan 
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I too am sorry for your loss.

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 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
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I plan on posting regularly starting tomorrow.

The time away was focused on family but it served to put things in better perspective. Hopefully it will help me keep a clearer head.

I have done some review. My best trades are still the inside bar trades. The toughest of these have been those that occur right at or just shortly before the open. Looking back, I think a good addition to the toolbox is to add the 30 min ORB that Jeff Castille covered in the All You Need thread last November.

One other thing I have come to realize is not to focus on money, especially a daily target. Yes, I want to make money but a focus on making a certain amount can cause me to take trades I should not. The focus needs to be on consistently trading well...ie making the proper entries and then managing the trade. If those are done, the money will just follow. Some days the market will offer a lot of opportunities and other days, there will be less. To expect to make $XXX dollars/day is not the goal.....

Anyway, it is good to be back....

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 papa15 
Wake Forest, NC
 
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Market was a bit strange today. Slight upward bias overnight in CL and index futures. Oil opened and shot up initially and then turned down. Oil looked very weak but not really a strong downtrending market in my view.

I watched the 30 min ORB Jeff discussed in his All You Need thread last Nov. My bias was for market to go down since pre-open price was above Friday's close. Market opened at 9am and shot up. A long entry would have been successful. I don't regret not taking it though. Today is the first day of using this tool and I want to get more time with it. Of note, had I left a short entry at the low of the 30 min ORB, it too would have been successful. The ORB is noted by the horizontal red lines on the chart.

I watched the market action. A 10 min IB formed at 9:20. This bar closed above the Keltner Channel, price was well above the open and had not gone towards the gap fill in any meaningful way, so I put in a short beneath the IB. Price initially exceeded the IB but I didn't want to be long. After 9:30 the market dropped as the NYSE went down and so did BANK. I was filled on the entry below the IB and profit target hit. I continued to watch the overall market. NYSE stayed negative, the index futures were negative and BANK was negative so I thought we would make a push towards gap fill on CL. I put in a short below the opening price, was filled and profit target hit. There was an IB on the 15 min chart at 11am, but I did not play that one. I am just wary of going outside Keltner Channels.

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 Laserdan 
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Good to see you are back and focused.

Laserdan
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 papa15 
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Today had lots of news at 9 and 10 am. At 9am, the Case Shuller index was released. I set up a 30 min ORB trade thinking the news would cause price to break one way or the other. It caused the market to go up. I was filled and the profit target hit very quickly. Price continued up and closed outside my Keltner Channel. The next bar was an inside bar that closed inside the Channel. I thought price would retrace back to the moving average (there were small up gaps on the index futures and those tend to close). I set a sell stop below the IB, and was filled. Price action hesitated for several minutes and did not continue my way, so I cut the trade for a smaller profit target. Shortly thereafter, the market dropped rapidly. It filled my sell stop at the low end of the 30 min ORB. I took a small profit there since I thought price would reverse after such a large drop. I then waited for the 10 am news releases. Had an inside bar form at 10:15. The NYSE was showing a retracement up in price following the weak 10 am news, so I figured the market would go up. My buy stop was filled 1 tick above the IB and my profit target was hit a bit later. Price was hesitant just after entry so I did not go for a large target. Again, shortly thereafter, the market took off.

I am going to lunch with a friend so ending trading a bit earlier than usual.

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 papa15 
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My primary signal is the inside bar. I think the use of that is rather self explanatory. Any questions about its use are really covered in Jeff's Three Setups thread. On my charts I also use the Keltner Channels as an aid in decision making while trading. The best explanation of how I use this channel is covered here

Keltner Channel - Technical Analysis

I don't trade based just on the Keltner Channel (I tried it a couple of times without impressive results). It is something I use as a confirmation/help.

I am trying to get to as simple a setup as I can.

My secondary signal is the 30 min range breakouts Jeff covered in his All You Need thread last Nov (I think it is around page 190 or so on that thread).

I know my trading system has changed dramatically since the first post of this thread but it has evolved for the better. My system is straightforward, easily understood and explained, and has withstood use in the "real" world. I think it is something that can work for anyone.

I owe a great deal of gratitude for Big Mike for this site and for Jeff sharing his ideas..

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 papa15 
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I set up the opening range breakout trade and was stopped in shortly after market open. Market went down and hit my profit target fairly quickly and continued on down. I just watched and was rather surprised at how much it dropped. At 9:40 an inside bar formed on the 10 min chart. Price was within the Keltner Channel so I put in a buy stop above the IB and was stopped in. Price went my favor one tick and then headed south. The trade time went beyond the next bar, so I raised my stop to just below the subsequent bar and that stop was hit. After the news announcement, price went up. An IB formed on the 15 min chart at 11:00. I was stopped in above the bar and profit target hit. Of note, the 15 min bar that closed at 11:30 exceeded the upper Opening Range break price level and would have been a successful trade, but I was not trading at the time and thus did not participate. But that is the third day in a row that the ORB could have been successfully traded on both sides.....

Jeff recommends not trading IB's on Wednesday until after the oil inventory report. I have traded Wednesday mornings in the past, but leaving a 15 min buffer around the 10:30 news announcement and some trades worked out.....but some did not. As I have stated in the past, Wednesday's have been the hardest day of the week for me to trade (and that would be due to the price action before the news announcement, duh). I can be hard headed and slow to learn, but I think I got it this time. No trading IB's until after the news announcement. I may do the opening range break and then stop until after 10:30.

Also, I am going to go exclusively with the 15 min chart for the time being. I have also been using the 10 min chart for the last couple of months since the bars are generally smaller and thus stops are tighter, and some more opportunities are presented. But I have had several times that if I had followed just the 15 min chart, I would not have taken a trade that resulted in a loss (today for instance) or taken as much heat. I think that adding back in the Opening Range play and using just 15 min chart IB's, I will have enough opportunities to trade. I really don't want to trade more than 2 or 3 times in a day and that chart seems to suffice for that.

I have been using the IB technique since the later part of June. On the 2nd of July, I started using the spreadsheet Big Mike posted over a year ago to track my trades. I am embarrassed to say that before that I did not record each trade. I would periodically use a spreadsheet to record the net results of a day but I never recorded each trade. It was not smart to operate that way. I found the spreadsheet to be easy to use and it quickly became a habit. I have found looking back over it to be very helpful. I had a spreadsheet provided by a vendor I tried out a few years ago that had some statistics on it and I was able to use that to add a sheet to BM's that gave me some basic statistical analysis. I have to do it this way since I no longer use NinjaTrader and the ThinkorSwim platform does not give me the analysis that NT does. Anyway, for this past quarter I took 56 inside bar trades with 52 winners and 4 losers (93% success rate). I took 41 other trades (outside bar, Keltner Channel, gap play, price action break {LL break, or HH break}) with 32 wins and 9 losers. I let one of the losers turn into a monster loss. The overall win rate for the quarter was 86%.

This was the most profitable quarter I have had in this account. If (woulda, coulda, shoulda time) I had not let the one monster loss happen, this would have been an outstanding quarter. Overall I am happy with the progress made.

My focus going forward is on the Opening Range trade and the 15 min inside bar trade.

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 mahlonhersh 
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Very Good! Very encouraging to see someone have consistent, profitable results. An excellent demonstration of discipline and continual improvement. Keep up the good work.

Mahlon

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 gulabv 
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Excellent trading papa15 !!

Do you define 30 minute ORB as 9:00 - 9:30 eastern time?
Where do you place your stop for the ORB trades?

Thanks for your journal it is inspiring to read...

gulabv


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