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FM's Trade Log
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FM's Trade Log

  #81 (permalink)
Elite Member
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Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: NT8
Favorite Futures: NQ YM ES ZN CL GC HG ZS 6E 6A 6J 6C
 
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September 2, 2016, Continued

6:28. A higher low. Pulling stop in below. Let's see how this holds through the equities open.

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44 needs to hold here. Market wants to shake out lower and absorb in a new wave of buyers. Or just fail through. I am choosing to lock in some profits and take the risk of getting shaken out.

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NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

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A 35 tick mistake. Out at +16, instead of +51.

I was trailing too tight. This thing had legs and I could see that. Should have given it room.

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  #82 (permalink)
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My "rules"

On August 23rd, https://futures.io/trading-journals/38350-fm-s-trade-log-8.html#post591061 , I made a few tweaks to my lens on the markets. I simplified by removing longer time frame charts and started really focusing on the trajectory of the market right now in the context of the near term structures. It is perhaps coincidence, but since then it has felt like night and day. This month we will see if the eating of the pudding proves as pleasant.

These are my rules / guidelines I have been working from the past few weeks. Most of these are not technical rules but simply the points I have found serve my mind the most by reviewing them daily.
  • Wear proper pants while trading. If it's something you can do in your pajamas or underwear, then it's a hobby, not a profession.
  • If you feel "strung out" in any way--hung over, overtired, foggy, whatever--do not trade.
  • Check the news schedule. Avoid the major news events.
  • Since you are still learning, always end your day after two losing trades. These are training wheels. They will prevent you from crashing.
  • Look at your anchor chart. Establish trajectory. Is the structure clear to you? If not, wait until it is.
  • Re-evaluate your anchor chart every 15 to 30 minutes. Is the structure evolving? Changing? Still clear?
  • Have a plan B. What happens when your trade fails? When the structure is broken? Will you switch gears? Why? How?
  • When your finger is on the trigger, but you don't pull it, accept it. If the trade "would have" been a winner, accept it. Back off and re-evalulate before your next trade. Don't just jump in blindly if the market gives you your price again. It is no longer the same trade. Think about why you hesitated the first time, and focus on clarity to reduce hesitation at the next opportunity.
  • Trust your analysis. Trust the structure. The trajectory/trend of the market is guilty until proven innocent. Stick with it. Press it.
  • Don't expect every day to be a winner. Don't expect every trade to be a winner. Keep every day, every trade, in line with your rules. Don't let your results drive your mood. Be happy if you can defend each trade per your rules.
  • At the start of every week, re-write these rules by hand on a fresh sheet of paper. At the start of every trading day, read these rules to yourself from that paper. Don't skim.
  • At the start of every trading day, think of something you love doing that you want to do more of. Think of your family. Your children. Think of being able to spend more time with them. Remember what's at stake.

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  #83 (permalink)
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September 6, 2016


NT8 did some weird things with my tick data and it took a couple hours for me to get it fixed by deleting db and reloading data several times. When everything was fixed around 7:30am, CL looked like it was setting up nicely, but it was late and I was out of rhythm so I left the system in SIM. Here is the trade I took for +11. Tomorrow, assuming no other unexpected issues, the floaties come off and I'm lowering into the shark cage.

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Update: Here is a link to NT8 forum regarding the issue I was experiencing. (FMTrader is, coincidentally, not me).

http://ninjatrader.com/support/forum/showthread.php?t=89133


Last edited by FlyingMonkey; September 6th, 2016 at 12:44 PM.
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  #84 (permalink)
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September 7, 2016

07
==
Created Wednesday 07 September 2016

5:20am Although the market spent much of the night continuing its upward lurch, for the past hour it has pushed down and broken out of the upward channel. I am leaning short ever so slightly and waiting for a bit more context to see how steep this downward move will sustain or if it will give way to a sideways range or push even higher. Yesterday's close is broken, and finding some support at the after-hours low.

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After waiting and watching and feeling generally very tight as several moves back and forth initiated without me on board, I'm finally in here, short at 45.07 with a stop at 25.23 and target 44.60. NT8 charttrader appears to be only showing SIM trades, not the trades in my live account, so I'll need to sort that out...

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6:50 Something moved the market and missed shaking me out by a few ticks. Shit - I got lucky there. Looked at the news schedule but didn't register that the PMI was a potential mover. Well, all's well that ends well in this case. I'm giving this some room and want to take the next leg down to my 44.60 target if the market will oblige. Otherwise my stop is now at 44.96.

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Gave a lot back, but stuck to the plan and I'm happy to come away with a win. I was coiled up pretty tightly, trading live for the first time in a few months. Getting the first shot off is a relief. Busy with breakfast and will likely not take any further trades today. Since NT8 is not cooperating to display trade markers, I've placed circles around the entry and exit for this trade. +11. Market turned lower again, giving another opportunity to jump in for a second short.

If I can loosen up a bit over the next week or so (and get my platform to behave!!!), I should be able to take more of these multiple entry opportunities. Yes, trading tight and not taking good opportunities is a problem, but I think it is natural at the onset. I think a worse problem is trading tight, not taking opportunities, and then responding to those missed opportunities with emotional trades chasing the market. I think I succeeded today by avoiding those emotional mistakes despite missing a few good moves.

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  #85 (permalink)
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September 8, 2016

08
==
Created Thursday 08 September 2016

5:25am. Structure this morning is not very well-formed, but basically we have resistance at 46.50, and a line in the sand below us at 46. The overall thrust of the market is upward, putting us on a path to challenge 46.50 again, however the overnight action has been a downward retracement that may not have much more clear path to run. I wouldn't rule out a short at these levels, but I'd prefer to see another clear rejection of the 46.50 level first. A long in the 46.10 area is more ideal.

The regular weekly jobs data comes out in a couple minutes, which hasn't been a major market mover lately. Am looking to get in and out of the market before the inventory report in 2 hours.

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6:10am. I'm in for a long here. Looking at this screen grab, and where I have my stop... it's not a great spot. I could risk a few more ticks and get below $46. I will regret leaving it if I get shaken out on this.

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To be continued...

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  #86 (permalink)
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September 8, 2016 (continued)

I've pulled my stop in. Now I wait. Can it bust through the descending upper channel line? Can it bust through 46.50?

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Level up:

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My ambitious target and loose stops had me give back over 30 ticks yesterday after getting within 6 ticks of the target. Let's see if I get the same effect today.

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Out for +15. Gave back 27 off the MFE, which came 6 ticks from the target. I am consoled by the fact that a) it's still a winner and b) This circumstance is a known trade-off I am making to let profits run, get some big wins, and avoid shaking out, limited to only ONE lot. I know that if I continue to get good action off my entries, that I will still make some money and occasionally a big win, and when I transition to multiple lots, I can get more creative with increasing exit efficiency.

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  #87 (permalink)
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September 9, 2016

5:55am. I peaked at CL at 4:30 am and wished I didn't need another hour of sleep. Thing looked ready to dump, and dump it did. Here now after an extended slide it's hard to be agressively short, but still I think the thing to do is find a way in short. Very, very cautiously, since the market is already extended. If we find our way out of this descent, we'll be in chop / retracement land.

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I'm in short at 46.78. Pardon all the lines on this chart... I didn't actually see the shallower downward trend line, which happened to connect pretty well with ETH VWAP at 46.87 where price bounced lower again. I was eyeing a retrace to jump on for a leg down, and got it. We'll see if it continues lower from here. I don't know if the market has legs to get another low in here at the end of the week, so if we start to firm up hard at 46.50 I might take profits and run.

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To be continued...

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  #88 (permalink)
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September 9, 2016 (continued)

6:38 This downward move is looking less and less thrusty and more and more wimpy. Pulling in stop. Looks like this is going to turn higher any second.

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6:45 Happily, I was wrong about the wimpiness. Unhappily, I was right about 46.50 providing a bounce. Another missed target. Out for +16. Will be on the lookout for another trade, but the bulls are showing strength off this bounce and I am hesitating to take another short even as prices come up again to the same entry I just took. This could be a meatgrinder as bulls battle to take back some ground.

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  #89 (permalink)
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September 9, 2016 (continued part 2)

FOLLOWUP: Not taking that rinse & repeat opportunity turns out to be a mistake. I think one lesson here is that for CL, the aggressiveness of a move can be deceiving. Yes, buyers were bouncing hard and fast, but they were still running into that resistance, and they were still slowing down. Yes, it sure looked like they could fly higher, but this is CL. It turns on a dime. It's always going to be a gamble. The other lesson here is again about hesitation, and avoiding trades for the wrong reasons. My hesitation was more about not wanting to give back a winning day, than it was about rationally taking good trade opportunities.

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I'm still happy with how the week has gone. I expected to be a bit tight, a bit conservative, but my primary fear, which was that all of a sudden my trades would stop working, has not materialized. That is great news. Assuming I don't take any more trades this week, I plan to follow up tonight or tomorrow with some additional reflections.

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  #90 (permalink)
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Sunday reflections


I am excited about the coming week, but that is what worries me. I have a conflicting set of emotions - fear that the recent progress will crumble to nothing, and excitement that I may just be "on to something" here.

But first off, before I get carried away with rambling, I want to announce my participation in this month's FIO journal competition. The competition is stiff as usual, with some really great journals in the pool. It's fantastic to see more folks updating regularly here and in the Elite section as well. I wish good trading to all of you. If you wish to support my journal, please add a thanks to this post in the contest thread:

https://futures.io/feedback-announcements/40234-fio-journal-challenge-september-2016-a-3.html#post595065

Also, you'll notice I now have an avatar and have become a supporter of the forum with the Elite moniker. Honestly, I sort of always knew it was inevitable that I would join up, and the delay had nothing to do with the money, which is really a fair price to keep the community maintained. It was more about my getting accustomed to public journaling, controlling the information flow getting sucked into my trading brain, and being sure that the forum was having a positive effect on my trading (I believe now I can say unequivocally that it is). Really there is one major up-side to being a member of the forum--access to information; and there is one major downside to being a member of the forum--access to information. I've lurked around hundreds of trading blogs and forums and I can count on one hand those that have had a positive impact on my trading. I didn't want a new fountain of information to inadvertantly disrupt the particular course I was on. I'm pretty comfortable at this point with my ability to filter the data available, and I know for a fact that being on this forum has helped me pivot my style in certain ways to get to the place I am at now, feeling as close as ever to a sustainable method.

I've been in similar spots before. This is the umpteenth time that I have transitioned back from SIM practice / figuring stuff out, to Live Trading. But I can say with as much objectivity as I can muster, that each time I have done so, my trading abilities have steadily grown. Each time met with a bit more success before needing to go back to the drawing board.

I have started to think about this approach as a sort of "tick / tock" cycle to personal development. Each "go" is either a largescale change in approach, or a refinement of the existing approach. I am currently coming out of a "tock" development cycle, in which I reduced from many instruments to only CL, started heavily using channel patterns in my analysis, removed any chart looking further than a few weeks back, switched from minute bars to volume bars, and coded some tools to manage my data collection, reducing time spent tracking my metrics. But even in a "tock", the majority of the style is carried through from all the good bits I've kept over the years of learning.

This week, I am adding an additional "rule" to my list of credos:
  • Take one trade at a time. Don't be cocky. Don't be afraid. Be right in the middle. Focus on what you need to do and take good trades. So you had a losing trade? So you had a winning trade? It doesn't matter. Go look for another. Don't just call it a day because it's safer that way, because you don't want to give it back, or hit your daily limit. Daily limits are meant to be hit. Be a trader.

I've had a string of luck. Last week I took very little heat on my trades, and I had no losses. That will not continue unabated. It ain't all gonna be candy and leprechauns forever here. But I am going to hold steady, and not fall off the horse when it starts bucking. And assuming I hold on, I'll be aiming to press a bit harder this week, and seize more opportunities.

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