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

  #31 (permalink)
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I have been busy recently reviewing my overall trading plan and I have come to a few conclusions which I'll list here.


My daily profit goal of $500 is unreasonable if I am trading 2 contracts. Sure, there are plenty of $500 moves in any instrument per day, but to accurately predict each of these moves is fundamentally contrary to (what I believe to be) the probabilistic nature of trading. In short, expecting to catch perfectly any one of the market moves in a daily timeframe is foolish. After looking through my monthly expenditures, I need a monthly income of slightly under $2000 USD (this figure includes a ~$300 overestimate) to live comfortably. This boils down to $500/week, and $100/day.

So, my new daily profit goal brings me down to two points on two contracts in the ES. I think this is a whole lot more manageable than my previous goal. I will adjust this as I refine my trading, and I think that 2 points should become 2.25 to cover the commissions on the 2 contracts.

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Here are the trades that I took today. They were all fades of the prevailing bullish trend. I made 2.75 ticks today, which was just over my profit goal. Nonetheless, I believe that I traded poorly because I refused to let my trades run to their full extent as per my ATM. Either I need to let the trades work themselves out, or select a different ATM style with which to trade.

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  #32 (permalink)
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I traded well this week. I stuck to my plan, managed my stops well, and came out on top to the tune of +10 points according to my trading strategy. Using fibonacci pivots has been a huge help in locating areas in which a fade is of high probability. What I need to do next is work on walking away from the computer and letting the trades work themselves out. There were at least three instances in which I bought a low or sold a high (within a tick or so) but I scratched it because I didn't believe in the trade. I think that part of my difficulty in believing in my trading is that fading doesn't feel right to me. Like many traders, my trading journey started swing trading equities, in which breakouts and breakout patterns were king.

Day trading the ES will kill you if you try to trade the breakout. I've learned that picking a top is difficult, but creating a fading methodology based off of reliable volume profile levels to fade can be profitable. In any case, I am looking forward to Monday to continue my journey.

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I ended up withdrawing 5 points at the close as a reward for hitting and exceeding my weekly profit.


Last edited by lax99; October 9th, 2015 at 07:12 PM. Reason: Edit end
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  #33 (permalink)
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Been a little while since I've last updated. I'll cover my month of October performance briefly, as well as what my setup looks like. I missed my profit goal for the month of October by roughly half as a product of only a couple of days. I'm disappointed in myself mainly for tremendously overtrading on a couple of days that really broke my rules. I traded close to ten times my size when I was down--it worked a couple of times, but I still ended those days in the red. I am part of a trading room (I won't disclose which one to avoid advertising a vendor) which has helped me understand the risk management and trade selection necessary to become consistent as a trader.

My overall trade profit factor is close to 1. This needs to be higher if I want to actually become successful and not pay Ninja brokers My methodology has remained relatively constant, though I am now incorporating some more swing trades (still in futures) than I previously was. I place about 7.5 trades per day according to Ninja. I want to drop this number a little bit until my expectancy increases, at which point I will be more confident in my trading strategy to allow myself to trade more frequently.

My weekend analysis is this: Over the past five trading days, we've basically seen two value areas develop. The first is 2080, and the second 2063. The 2063s found value because of the choppy corrective trade leading into FOMC. 2063s are an aggressive buy, but I think that the higher probability trade is a fade back to the moving averages.

As we can see on a 500k VOL chart with a volume profile for the last month, the market has found value in the 2000 to 2030 range. Above 2030 into 2060 has had very little volume trade--it almost seems like an "island top" in terms of low volume. I think that the trade of the week for next week could be a sale down into 2040 to explore lower and see if this rally actually has supportive buying, or whether it's just a tremendous short squeeze.

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Just to remind myself that I can be fallible, I have included what "Bad Trading" looks like. Way too many trades in too short a period of time with too much size...
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Last edited by lax99; October 30th, 2015 at 08:05 PM. Reason: Include "Bad Trading"
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  #34 (permalink)
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Just a quick update before I head out for the evening. It seems that some of the old correlations are working again with the indices approaching all time highs. I'm specifically looking at 6J/ZB vs ES with a short/long bias.

I think when we see new highs in the indices, we'll see ZB and 6J continue to the downside. For now, I am trading this belief in the 6J, which is below.


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With a stop at 8300 near the top of this recent wedge, I am targeting at the very least the 8200 region. This offers a risk:reward of 40:60, or 2:3 for the math majors. Upon completion of my 8200 objective, I will move the stop breakeven at 8260 and see what the market thinks of revisiting yearly lows.

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The ZB chart above is bearish. However, I have decided to not trade this market because I believe that a stop would have to go above the most recent high of 156-30 or so, presenting a full $1000 of risk per contract to see if we make new lows. My trades recently have been firstly risk-adverse, which is why I believe I am seeing a slow swing back to positive expectancy overall for my trading business.

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  #35 (permalink)
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That most recent short 6J trade that I took was profitable. I didn't quite get the exit that I wanted, but it ran for roughly 92% of the entire profit target. I traded well this past week. I hit my profit target and then some, managed to identify and control risk before entering the trade, and only traded when I thought that the risk was low.

I know that all of these things sound very nebulous at best (and like lies at worst) but I honestly did trade well this past week. I have looked at my Ninja report for the last month and a half--I have placed roughly 282 trades (still about 7 per day).

My best day is Wednesday, followed by Thursday and Friday. I have historically traded the worst on Monday. I think this is because my emotional capital follows my trading capital throughout the week, which is not sustainable. I think that I absolutely have to make money to start the week, which naturally leads to losses. I am going to fix this by trading 2/3 of my size on Monday and Tuesday to see if I can realize small profits on low risk trades to start the week. Then, I will trade my full size for the rest of the week to see if this increases my expectancy.

I'll be right back at it in the morning. Cheers to anybody who reads my journal, feel free to leave a comment if you want!

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  #36 (permalink)
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It's been quite a while since I've posted. Part of this absence was due to coursework, part due to the holiday season. I have included below a screenshot of my performance so far. From the start of October, I have cleared a little over $6k. I traded heavily throughout the months of October and November (7 round turns/day) and have since slowed my trading (2 round turns/day in Dec/Jan). I've found that decreasing the frequency with which I trade has lead to increased profitability.

I looked at my intraday ES stats a while back and found that the overwhelming majority (something like 75-80%) were either scratches, or closed for +/- 0.50. The rest of my trades were located around my ATM (+/- 3 pts) with just a few drastic outliers (10 pts). I wouldn't be surprised if by reducing my trade frequency I am essentially removing my P&L from the market noise, and subsequently lifting my head above statistically irrelevant trading.

As I reduced my frequency, while keeping trading size the same, I saw a near tenfold increase in my average trade dollar value.

For the first time in a long time I am seeing an upwards sloping equity curve, and it feels damn good!

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And here are some market thoughts going forward. I think the ES hasn't seen the lows of the move. I know that a lot of traders (myself included) thought that a V bottom of sorts was possible here-->that idea now seems a million miles away.

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  #37 (permalink)
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It's been ages since I last updated this thing. 2016 has overall been profitable so far for me, though I am currently experiencing a drawdown. I foolishly overleveraged once again (seems like a theme for my trading) on a gold short a week ago which ripped my face off. My trading method has changed only slightly. I no longer use the pivot points that I previously used, thanks to the belief that price action and market profiling are more relevant to the market than a set of formulae are.

My days are spent avoiding the retail bus (thanks Inletcap!) and trying to see the OTF forest for the trees. I still use VWAP intraday to help locate my entries and exits. My focus has become almost entirely RTH trading. I've watched plenty of FT71's webinars, I plan to watch his daily Trader Bites, and I'm getting better at scaling into trades and managing risk.

My scales are only into and out of a three-lot, so you won't see me show up on your DOM any time soon .



Here are my thoughts going into tomorrow:

The market has rallied for the last two days. It "broke out" today, though trade was in a very tight range of 12.50 points. Compared to yesterday's 25 point range, today felt lethargic and choppy. The market broke above the IB, came back to VWAP (and then some!) and then rallied to new highs. I believe that the market is still in a value-seeking mode.

The following chart is indicative of what I'm seeing right now. The market has moved up and up and up after remaining in a balance range from 2040 to 2050 for the last week of trading. We have a naked VPOC at 2055.25 from Tuesday's trade which IMO needs to be touched. So, the market is looking for value. Where should we expect it to find value? That is, when are buyers going to say that it's overvalued and when are sellers going to step in with both hands?

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With a prevailing trend upwards, shorts need to be careful of losing their ass on another 10 point gap up overnight (though, at this writing, the market is down three). On the other hand, the bonds caught a surprising rally today and the yen really didn't crash like I thought it might have. Shorts do have a case here, though the case needs some OTF participation to say that prices are too high.

I think 2055.25 is a magnet. It's a NVPOC, it's ten handles from today's open, and it creates one helluva bull trap. 2055 would be the rejection back into value that says "2070+ is too high. We're going lower". But, living in the moment, the trend is higher. I like the market up into 2080 before I really think that bears are going to step in and sell. Furthermore, 2080 is a short trip away. With another slow grind tomorrow like today, we could easily go out 2080+ by the end of the day.

For now, I'm flat and I'll be up at the open to see what the market has in store for us.

Best,

Lax99

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  #38 (permalink)
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lax99 View Post
It's been ages since I last updated this thing. 2016 has overall been profitable so far for me, though I am currently experiencing a drawdown. I foolishly overleveraged once again (seems like a theme for my trading) on a gold short a week ago which ripped my face off. My trading method has changed only slightly. I no longer use the pivot points that I previously used, thanks to the belief that price action and market profiling are more relevant to the market than a set of formulae are.

My days are spent avoiding the retail bus (thanks Inletcap!) and trying to see the OTF forest for the trees. I still use VWAP intraday to help locate my entries and exits. My focus has become almost entirely RTH trading. I've watched plenty of FT71's webinars, I plan to watch his daily Trader Bites, and I'm getting better at scaling into trades and managing risk.

My scales are only into and out of a three-lot, so you won't see me show up on your DOM any time soon .



Here are my thoughts going into tomorrow:

The market has rallied for the last two days. It "broke out" today, though trade was in a very tight range of 12.50 points. Compared to yesterday's 25 point range, today felt lethargic and choppy. The market broke above the IB, came back to VWAP (and then some!) and then rallied to new highs. I believe that the market is still in a value-seeking mode.

The following chart is indicative of what I'm seeing right now. The market has moved up and up and up after remaining in a balance range from 2040 to 2050 for the last week of trading. We have a naked VPOC at 2055.25 from Tuesday's trade which IMO needs to be touched. So, the market is looking for value. Where should we expect it to find value? That is, when are buyers going to say that it's overvalued and when are sellers going to step in with both hands?

Please register on futures.io to view futures trading content such as post attachment(s), image(s), and screenshot(s).

With a prevailing trend upwards, shorts need to be careful of losing their ass on another 10 point gap up overnight (though, at this writing, the market is down three). On the other hand, the bonds caught a surprising rally today and the yen really didn't crash like I thought it might have. Shorts do have a case here, though the case needs some OTF participation to say that prices are too high.

I think 2055.25 is a magnet. It's a NVPOC, it's ten handles from today's open, and it creates one helluva bull trap. 2055 would be the rejection back into value that says "2070+ is too high. We're going lower". But, living in the moment, the trend is higher. I like the market up into 2080 before I really think that bears are going to step in and sell. Furthermore, 2080 is a short trip away. With another slow grind tomorrow like today, we could easily go out 2080+ by the end of the day.

For now, I'm flat and I'll be up at the open to see what the market has in store for us.

Best,

Lax99



Good to hear. I took a long break from daytrading. 2016 I didn't make too much, had to pay $5500 in taxes. At a tax bracket of 39%, I just said to myself, wait a second.

What is still going on, 3am CST trades, that seems to be the time trading begins and real money is made.

I just looked at the ATR (14) for ZB still 1-17 range.

What I use for Trend is weekly pivot point. Above trend is up and buys only. Below trend is down and sell only. VWAP I use as well, at the moment since market is moving sooo slow 610 tick chart. Above buy only, below sell only.

Money Flow Index (10) basic , 20 look to buy, 80 look to sell.

FT71, has been around for awhile, haven't taken any of his webinar's.

What is the Retail BUS???

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  #39 (permalink)
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javajoe View Post
Good to hear. I took a long break from daytrading. 2016 I didn't make too much, had to pay $5500 in taxes. At a tax bracket of 39%, I just said to myself, wait a second.

What is still going on, 3am CST trades, that seems to be the time trading begins and real money is made.

I just looked at the ATR (14) for ZB still 1-17 range.

What I use for Trend is weekly pivot point. Above trend is up and buys only. Below trend is down and sell only. VWAP I use as well, at the moment since market is moving sooo slow 610 tick chart. Above buy only, below sell only.

Money Flow Index (10) basic , 20 look to buy, 80 look to sell.

FT71, has been around for awhile, haven't taken any of his webinar's.

What is the Retail BUS???



The 3am trades aren't when most OTF traders are doing business, so I focus on the timeframe in which they're active. I don't use the money flow index. It seems that it's a sort of derivative of the market, rather than just pure price action on the chart in front of me. FT71's webinars are excellent. I hate to seem like an advertiser, but his third webinar on psychology is well worth the money.

Oh, the retail bus! The retail bus is the colloquial term in the Spoo-nalysis thread for the retail traders that put their stops at one-tick-above-high, or that fade the trend days, or that do foolish things without stepping back and looking at the context of the market. I've definitely been on that bus before and I'll be on it again, but I do my best to be cognizant of the retail bus.

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  #40 (permalink)
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I have been traveling and not trading for the last few weeks, but now that I've got some time this evening to look at the market, I decided to write a little post up.

I've been bullish the ES for a few weeks now. Of course, that's easy to say after a 60 handle rally, but I'll outline my analysis below.

In the following figure, we have this year's trade. The leftmost volume profile consists of the trade from the start of the year up until prices rose back to 2040. The second profile (middle) contains the trade from the start of the year until the highs in April were put in. The final profile consists of this entire year's trade.

The overwhelming importance of this figure is found in the middle profile. In the short period of trade from roughly mid-March to the start of April, such great volume traded as to move the entire year's POC up from 1890 to 2040. In other words, an absolute ton of trade took place up here.

Ask yourself--after 2040 auctioned, what did the market do? Did it sell back to 1890? Like hell it did. 2040 pushed right into 2100. Price rotated back from there, but the old lows held and we are now within spitting distance of breaking the April highs.

I'm bullish because I think somebody with a lot of business to do bought a ton of ES in mid-March. From there, we've been looking upwards ever since. I don't know where the bull will stop, but with a likely breakaway gap developing this evening I will have a bullish bias tomorrow morning.

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