Good trades, bad trades, winning trades & losing trades
I have studied trading extensively for the last 5 years and by studying I mean reading everything I can online, buying books, watching videos, buying videos and paying for trade coaching from professionals. I started by trading options, selling premium, and was successful for 2 years without really understanding why. I was then unsuccessful for 2 years again without understanding why until I realized my strategy and my execution didn't match. So I have made lots of donations to the markets, my startup costs.
I trade futures for the leverage and ease of going either long or short. I trade a trend following strategy, simply a breakout strategy and it works well. I struggle to say in profitable trades that pull back but have not yet reached my strategy stop.
I will use this trade journal as a way to keep myself accountable and share with the Futures.io community.
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I went flat last week before traveling and now ready to get back into the market. My strategy is 20 day (or 55 day if I'm not able to take the 20 day for portfolio/risk management reasons) breakout but today is a reversal day and all of the markets in my universe are pulling back from trends as of close before traveling. I don't have a clear directive for how to handle this in my trade plan, please weigh in.
Here is an example, ES closed yesterday at 1,873 which is about a 60 day low yet now it is 1,903. If I had gotten in the trade at 1,873 I would not get out at 1,903 but now that it has pulled back I'm hesitant to open a new short position. Should I initiate a new short position starting from the higher position or pass on the trade and wait for a fresh trend to emerge?
You should probably include a rule for this in your trading plan. There is really no right or wrong answer and there are a couple of scenarios that could play out.
Short now and get a better entry, market goes lower and you potentially get a higher profit.
Short now and get a better entry, market goes up and you still get stopped out (assuming your risk parameters stay the same).
Short now and get a better entry, market goes nowhere - at least you have a good entry...
Short later with a worse entry, market goes lower and you make slightly less in profits.
Short later with a worse entry, market goes up and you may get stopped out. Had you shorted now, there is a chance that it may not happen - in effect if you short now, market goes down and retraces, you may be in better shape.
Do nothing and wait which could protect you from a losing trade right now.
Using 20 day and 55 day breakouts makes me think of the Turtle system. Usually with a TF system of that nature, you would either take a new breakout, i.e. once it goes below the 1,873 low, or you wait for the next opposing signal, i.e. the first long.
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You're right grausch, this is the turtle strategy. It's simple, adapts well to changing market conditions and has a sound portfolio management framework so it's working well for me. Thanks for your feedback, I like the idea of taking the position at current prices using the stop as if I had taken the trade at 1,873.
You are welcome. I actually meant that you would short now, but still base your stops 2 ATR away (I think this is where the Turtles placed them). Tightening up your stop could result in you being stopped out easier although if you are not stopped out, then it presents a nicer reward to risk ratio.
You should also read this thread relating to the performance of the system and how it degraded in recent years - Dead Turtles - Traders' Roundtable. Not sure if you can access that without registering on the Trading Blox forum. Curtis Faith (an original Turtle) developed Trading Blox to test the Turtle system (called Veritrader back then) and a lot of analysis was done in the forums on the system. Unfortunately due to legal disputes his name has been removed from the forum, but all of his posts are still there under different "forum names".
Today I find myself in a good position. Trades put on yesterday are continuing to trend and making good profits. This is where the mental game starts to play it's part. So many times I have seen good profits and taken them for fear of losing them only to watch the trend continue and lose out on the gains the market was only too willing to give me. Today I will sit on my hands for the positions working for me.
1 new position.
T1: Long HE @ 67.65
I read through the Turtle Trader obituary from 2006 and it has motivated me to read up on Donchian but not going to throw in the towel on this system just yet.
Last edited by AsymOlly; January 20th, 2016 at 09:44 AM.
Reason: noting disposition of trade
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When Veritrader was first released, one of the trading magazines at the time tested the system (can't recall exact details as this is almost 10 years ago), and their testing clearly showed that the system was unprofitable but could be profitable again if there was no pyramiding.
On the TradingBlox forum several of the back-testers found that removing pyramding and adding profit targets where trades are scaled out partially increased profitability quite nicely. The obvious conclusion was that markets were more volatile and thus holding for bigger gains did not work as well as pyramided positions become more likely to be stopped out. Also, due to the volatility trends have become more choppy and taking partial gains along the way helps to both reduce the volatility of the equity curve and protect open profits.
The base system is probably still profitable, but you need to be careful when adding things like pyramiding to the mix.
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I understand and thanks again for sharing so much with me. I'm not dogmatic to the turtle strategy it's just how I learned about trend following and find it matches with my available trading hours and trading goals. I want to take asymmetric risks and achieve big returns even if they are lumpy.
That being said I rarely add to winning positions because the volatility is frightening. While I'm looking for great returns I understand that you need to stay in the game to get them. Profit targets are interesting and would smooth out volatility of returns.
Yesterday I was stopped out of my short CL position @ 32 for a loss and my other positions lost most of the gains but not yet stopped out. Hind sight being 20/20 taking profits would be have been nice.