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lax99's Trading Journal (ES/ZB/Some Currencies)
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lax99's Trading Journal (ES/ZB/Some Currencies)

  #121 (permalink)
Membership Temporarily Revoked
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lax99 View Post
...In quiet markets, I need to run the hell away from the computer. I'm a horrendous overanalyzer...

Uh uh! I'm more horrendous than you! Nyeh!

(That type of brain-habit is awful and I know what you mean.) hehe.

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  #122 (permalink)
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I did a bit of soul-searching after the Tuesday trade that walloped me. I've realized that my methods really need some volatility. Markets which double top and triple bottom and go nowhere for hours really mess with my mind. I start thinking that I'm seeing something that frankly isn't there. I'm deciding that from now on, unless I perceive volatility in the ES (ADR levels or VIX or something similar), I will not trade that product.

Trades for Thursday:

1. Long CL 48.46 & 48.50, exit 48.54
- I've been foolish recently, waking up late and getting to my platform right as I see a trade that I want to take. This was another one of those trades.
- I wanted to get long around 48.35, but I managed to salvage the late entry nonetheless.

2. Long CL 48.60, exit 48.79 (x2) & 48.87 (x1).
- This was the trade I had been waiting for all week. It only took two days of drawdowns to find it!
- I was happy with the initial income scale and the runner scale as well. In hindsight, I should have pressed the thesis (bullish) at every opportunity because today was such a strong bullish trend day.

________________________
Until I deem fit, I will not be trading the ES. Paradoxically, the lack of volatility is actually hurting my bottom line tremendously. I continually think I've found the rocketship to the moon when I'm actually just waiting in traffic to get to the launch pad.

1) Big bull day today = Big bull day tomorrow
- The ON is already higher than today's close (49.17 last)
- Continual rejection of lower prices has me looking for 50.50 around old swing highs.
- 50.50 is also where volume starts to dry up on the high side. If this large move is nothing more than a return to value, I do not expect prices to trade 51.
- On the thesis that this is significant, responsive buying, I want to see price push to 51 tomorrow.


2) Stuck in the Value with You
- Higher open, push to 50.00, and failure around the whole number.
- I would expect price to return to the long term (many months) POC of 49.10, give or take.
- With a market 49.20 last, if we do not see a significant push in the ON, I will be anticipating stuck-in-value trade.
- Stuck-in-value trade is my worst type of trading; if I see this happening, I'm stepping away and going to enjoy my Friday.



_________________
ON Positions: Long CL @ 49.22
- ON bullish move has me anticipating a higher open. I'm OTF-ing it a little bit to get a piece of the ON action and start my day with a few cents in my pocket


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  #123 (permalink)
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Over the weekend I took a look at what I did right and wrong. I came to two conclusions.

1) I did poorly by trading a quiet market.

2) I did well by switching products and trading an active market.

My personality and strategy needs some sort of volatility in the product that I'm trading. I'm going to begin my day by looking across the board for volatility, and then seeing if my edge (VWAP tests, ADR touches, HVN/LVN fades) develops in the market of choice. Right now, crude has plenty of volatility for my tastes. I'm sure that I'll return to the ES; however, trading the ES is losing me money right now and I believe that my time is better spend in a product which has sizeable swings that I can take advantage of.


________________

For Monday:

For all that crude has done recently, IT HAS RETURNED TO VALUE. This is important to consider as we move forward into the waning days of August. Crude (Oct contract) traded down to the low $39 range, which is a long term LVN zone. The LVN saw substantial buying which propelled the market back into value in the upper $45 range, and now up to higher value around $49. I would love to see a week long selloff back into previous value (down to 46.80 swing high, lower into mid-45s to revisit old value).


1) ON sees responsive buying.
- 48.55 low from Friday holds.
- Recovery of 48.80 HVN zone.
- Volume profile for Thurs/Fri trade is weighted moreso on the lower price end. This is suggestive of shorts defending higher prices throughout the session and bulls buying up everything they could find near the lower end.
- $1.64 ADR-H gives us a target right around $50. This is going to be a huge psychological level, as well as a LVN zone (upper end of few month's range).

2) Push lower to "get stuck" in range
- Friday's MP was very neutral and balanced. Balance leads to imbalance, so I will be watching the ON for a lower open as a sign of minor trend reversal.
- The lower end of value in the $49 range is near the 14 day ADR-L (47.50) which I would like to see from a volatility standpoint.
- We've got a gap from rollover down to $47, and a significant swing high at 46.84. This is the zone in which I'd consider establishing a long to fade a selloff.


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  #124 (permalink)
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Good write up tonight- thanks.

I'm personally fighting myself not to take a long position here at Y_low- I see nothing underneath this area though to provide additional support if it breaks and can't run 150t stop for 110 t target. Think I'm best to wait for RTH rather than make a "bet" overnight.

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  #125 (permalink)
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I've done very little trading in the past two days because my final year of college started up on Monday. It's going to be a doozy, and I fully expect to have pretty much zero time to trade or keep up with my nightly analyses. I'll be in and out in scalping CL for a handful of ticks here and there, but my full term focus will be on my capstone senior year project.

Anyway, I'm still here and I still read the forums from time to time. I'm putting my full-time trading on hold for the moment though. Thank you to all who read my journal and who have helped me with my journey so far! I wish all of you the best.

May your executions be perfect and may the market always move in your favor!


Till later,

Lax99 (Tucker)

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  #126 (permalink)
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Thanks for the journal lax99. Have fun storming the...final year of college!

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  #127 (permalink)
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In an effort to maintain my accountability to myself and my trading I've decided to share some of my stats from recent trades. They've been in a few different products, though mainly ES and CL, and I think they reflect some interesting details about my trading process.

I've made money over the last two weeks. However, I've given up a potential to quite literally double my profitability by trading on Fridays. The following charts are generated in MATLAB and are sourced with data from Stage 5's Historical Trade Analyzer (an invaluable tool, in my opinion).


Here are my trades that I've taken. As you can see, there's an overall upward trend, complete with winners larger than losers and relatively shallow drawdowns. All units are in ticks, by the way. This skews actual dollar P&L slightly as ES, CL, ZB, 6A, and ZN all have different tick values.

Below consists of all trades, including Fridays.
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My current expectancy hovers around 1. It's 0.96 at the moment, and I want to increase this number. My average MAE on my winners is only two ticks. I couldn't believe this when I was looking over my trades! My winners take basically zero heat and go on to have an average MFE of 9.35, or a little over four and a half times the average MAE. This realization has recently driven me to really tighten up my stops. Sure, it might be foolish to trade futures with a stop of four ticks, but my method and edge suggests that any heat basically disproves my thesis.

This past week I reduced my stop size from around 6 ticks to 4 ticks. I believe that as a direct result of this risk management, I reduced my overall drawdown from 23 ticks to a mere 14 ticks. And, as far as I can remember, there was only one trade that lost 4 ticks and then actually came back to breakeven.

My reason for reducing my stop size was simple: When I'm right and make money, price almost immediately moves favorably. Why risk more than necessary to see my thesis play out?


Now, the real interesting part comes. For the last three Fridays in a row I've lost money. I'm not sure what it is about my approach to a Friday, but I always seem to want to take "a quick tick or two" out of the market to bring home over the weekend. Check out how much this is costing me...

Below consists of all trades, without Fridays included.
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Fridays have, in total, cost me 34 ticks. This is more than I've made. I've made 29 ticks. Before accounting for commissions, Fridays in total are really kicking my ass. It's for this reason that I will absolutely not be trading on Fridays for one full month. Hopefully this helps out the ol' P&L and expectancy too.

To the casual reader, I encourage you to look through your stats and see what's costing you money!

What are your best/worst days?
What's your MAE on your winning trades? Should you consider changing your stop accordingly?
What's your MFE on your losing trades? Should you recognize adverse price action sooner and exit sooner?


Happy Saturday all, and good trading!

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