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CK's ES Journal
Started:August 18th, 2016 (10:23 AM) by Comeback King Views / Replies:2,577 / 82
Last Reply:November 14th, 2016 (05:47 PM) Attachments:40

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CK's ES Journal

Old August 18th, 2016, 10:23 AM   #1 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
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CK's ES Journal

I just joined the forum, mainly because I wanted to start an online journal somewhere and here seemed good. I started trading around 2000 and have been on and off ever since. I took the dive into futures around 2002 and traded ES for about 2 years before my work because very busy and I had no time. I continued looking at the markets on and off and earlier this year I had some time, and some extra money, so I opened an account.

I've been slowly building since that time, a few weeks I bleed and a few weeks I make a little. I have been caught in the cycle of trying different methods and time frames, basically trying to find something that is comfortable. I've found a couple of things where based on back testing and paper trading I have an edge but they just have not felt right. I had read about market/volume profile when I got back into trading and read a short book on it but I mostly discounted it at the time. I eventually came back around to it and gave it more serious thought/attention and it started to really click. So...at this point I'm trading support and resistance zones that I map out based on market profile. I'm a big fan of FT71 and I've learned a great deal from his webinars, podcasts and Trader Bites.

So...that's me in a nutshell.

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Old August 18th, 2016, 10:23 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Old August 18th, 2016, 10:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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ES plan for 8/18:

SR zones I have marked:

66.75 - 68.50
73.75 - 75.25
81.50 - 83.0
87.25 - 89.0

We look to be opening just to the upside of yesterdays VAH. If the market dips to this level on the open I'll monitor for long positions. I would prefer a drop to my SR zone at 75.25 to buy. If we get to that level, I will be stalking.

If we pop off the open I will be watching the 81.50 to 83.0 area closely. If this area defends I'll be looking to short.

Going into the open I am slightly short biased based on VWAP.

My goal today is to take at least 1 valid setup and trade it through to completion, meaning I will not exit after a 3 tick profit; I will follow my trading plan and trade the chart for at least 1 setup today.

End of the day:
There was a very nice short setup just after the open, price ran to my SR zone and was being rejected. I was gun shy and didn't enter a position and missed a small profit.

Just after 10:00 the market rebounded to this area again. I was getting a nice divergence on my RSX and entered a short position. Price bounced off VWAP, which was tightening with my SMA indicating a possible trend change or chop. I exited the position +1 which was a valid exit.

There were 3 additional setups during the day and I skipped them all, simply paper trading them. All were scratch trades. I did note a nice divergence at 14:19/20; price hit 2182.50 after previously hitting that level on high volume at 13:41. There was a nice RSX divergence on the second attempt on lower volume and RSX turned down. I am still tracking these types of setups for now.

Goal: Achieved
Setups: 5
Trades: 1
% Traded: 20%


Last edited by Comeback King; August 18th, 2016 at 05:58 PM. Reason: End of the day
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Old August 18th, 2016, 05:57 PM   #4 (permalink)
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ES Plan for 8/19

SR Zones I have marked:

88.0 - 89.50
83.50 - 84.50
73.75 - 75.25
66.75 - 68.50

VAH: 2183.50
VAL: 2179.75
TOR: 2184.50
BOR: 2177.75

If we open above 90.50 I will look to buy any dips into the 89.50 range, looking for a run to 2200.

If we open above the 83.50/84.50 area but below 90.50 I will also look to buy a dip into the 84.50 - 83.50 area for a test of 88. If move higher off the open I will be looking for a test of the 88.0 - 89.50 area and will look to short a failure in this range for a test down to 84.50

If we open below 79.75 I will be looking to sell a test/failure at 83.50 for continuation down to 77.75 and then 75.25.

If we open anywhere between 83.50 and 79.75 I will be looking to fade a test higher or lower if there is failure at either of these levels.

Premarket thoughts: With no premarket news to push price it looks like it will be a bearish to neutral open with prices opening near or possibly below yesterdays VAL. VWAP/SMA is neutral coming into the open.

I have meetings until 11:30 today and will be unable to trade the open. As I generally stay out of the market between noon and 13:30 I won't have a trading opportunity until the afternoon session where it's likely to be dull.

Because I'm going to miss what will likely be the prime trading time today, my goal will be to take at least 1 valid setup in the afternoon session while not pushing a trade that isn't there. Being that my biggest issue at this point is fear of loss, simply setting a goal to avoid getting into a bad trade would be easy - I just wouldn't trade. So I am making this goal to force myself to take a valid setup if one is presented.

End of the Day:

There were only 2 setups for me to take today, the first at 9:43/44. Price hit my SR level, bounced then dipped back in for a buy signal. None of the indicators I use are saying to avoid the trade, so I would buy here. The trade would have quickly stopped out for -1.75.

Price dropped lower and out of my SR zone to 72.50 before bouncing. There was a bullish divergence here on my RSX so this was not an area for a short.

At 10:08 price closed above my SR zone and moved back in. Given the earlier bullish divergence this is a strong signal for a buy. This would have been a hit, at least making up for the earlier loss.

Unfortunately I was not around to live trade or paper trade any of this. My meetings ended a bit early but not in time to trade these moves. There were a couple of price/RSX divergences later on in the day but none were around an area for me to trade. From about 10:50 until 12:42 the ES was locked in a range between ~81 and 78.75. I was watching my chart, DOM and my T&S and the pushes higher seemed pretty weak. I told myself a good trade would be a stop market order at 78.50 for a trade into the 75-76 area. This isn't a setup I would take at this point but I was pleased that I was able to identify it.

Today's Goal: Achieved
There were no valid setups while I was able to trade, and I avoided the temptation to trade outside of my plan, even though I saw opportunities.

It's been a good week learning wise for me; I feel better now than I did last Friday.

Negatives for the week:
1. I was trigger shy many times this week and I missed nearly all of my trade setups.
2. I lost focus a couple of times this week when the ES was seemingly dead. As a result, I did not see a couple of good trade setups unfolding; noticing them much too late.

Positives for the week:
1. I joined this forum and began my online trading journal. While I have been keeping a journal with daily thoughts and keeping track of all trades and trade setups, putting something on a public forum is much different.
2. I avoided making bad trades that are outside of my trading plan.
3. I entered a trade on Thursday and sat through the uncomfortable feelings to let the trade play out, and nothing bad happened to me...I'm still alive to tell the tale.
4. I have one more week of data and charts to analyze and study over the weekend, and I have a weekend study objective to accomplish.


Last edited by Comeback King; August 19th, 2016 at 05:11 PM. Reason: End of Day
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Old August 21st, 2016, 08:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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ES Plan for 8/22

SR Zones I have marked:

88.0 - 89.50
85.0 - 86.0
82.0 - 83.0
77.50 - 78.50 (I'm not 100% sure about this one)
72.0 - 73.25
67.50 - 68.50

VAH: 2182.0
VAL: 2176.75
TOR: 2183.0
BOR: 2173.75

If we open above 2183.50 I will be looking at the 82-83 area to see if this holds a pull back. If this area looks strong I will be looking for a spot to buy here but be cautious to the close overhead resistance.

If we open in Friday's value area, I will watch the 82-83 area for a short opportunity and will watch 78.50 - 77.50 for support. I'm not sure about this level so I will be more cautious here.

If we open below value but above Friday's range, I will look in the 73.25 area for a buying opportunity. If this area fails I don't mind shorting a re-test.

8:45AM update:

Barring unplanned news, it looks like we will open in value and possibly very close to or on a support zone. Unless this changes I won't be aggressive at the open; I'll let the market settle a bit before I start stalking a trade. This will change if we get a large move at the open out of value.

My goal for today is to trade 2 valid setups. I am feeling a lot better confidence-wise so this is something I think I can accomplish.

If we open below Friday's range we could be opening in an SR area I have marked, so I'll be cautious and would look to short a retest of the 72.0 - 73.25 area if the opening move goes lower.

I've put in a lot of time this weekend going over charts, reviewing setup's and working on my thoughts. I will set a goal for the trading day in the morning, but I'm feeling good going into the week.

End of the Day
There were 3 good setups for me to take today and I entered all of them, 100%! I didn't trade them according to my plan, bailing early on all 3. The best setup came just after 11:00 when price continued to hit my resistance zone with a nice RSX divergence. This is pretty much a Grade A setup in my book but I exited too soon, thinking price would run up. It was a bad move on my part, not just because I missed a nice profit but more importantly because I did not follow my plan through. It's easy to look back and see how this turned out but at the time I wasn't sure. I realize that's because my decision making at that moment was clouded with my emotions - something I'm working on. During the trade I was confident that if we broke below 81.0 and held that price would run down. Quite a bit of volume had built up in this range and I thought dropping/holding below 81.0 would start some short stops. I'm not sure if this is what actually ended up happening, but price ran down pretty hard.

The other 2 setups were scratches according to my plan; I scalped 2 ticks out of them. I did step outside of my plan at the close and bet 2 ticks on a short. I got a nice RSX/price divergence starting around 15:15 and I was just watching price action. The 80.50/80.75 kept getting rejected with hard selling and the market looked like it was struggling to regain this area. At 15:42 my sell order filled at 2180.75 with a stop 2 ticks above that. I figure what the hell...the setup was good even though it's not in my plan. I was pretty patient with the trade; I kept watching the area close to my entry get sold hard when price got near/in it. As we started to get close to the close, orders on the DOM started really piling up (as usual) and price had not moved in the direction I thought it would so I exited +2 ticks.

Today's Goal: Not Achieved

While I did get into all setup's that were presented, I didn't trade them properly. I must trust my setups and I must accept the uncertainty of the market. Though maybe not smart, I am happy about taking the trade outside of my plan. I entered the trade with a great mindset and managed the trade very well. I was not anxious during the trade at all; that's a big positive for me.

I finish the day +1 from 4 trades, getting into all my setups plus one. I will focus on the positive feelings of entering 100% of the setups presented and carry that energy this evening and into tomorrow. I'm glad that I have a positive feeling that I can focus my attention on.

Below is the chart from this morning's setup. The trade took a good deal of patience, a bit more than I have at this time. Several weeks ago I would have been pissed about not holding my trade and not traded for the rest of the day; I would have had a very negative attitude about my trading day in general. I'm pleased that I recognized my error but did not let it take me out of the market for the day, and I've not let it make me grumpy; I was able to control my emotions very well.

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Last edited by Comeback King; August 22nd, 2016 at 05:50 PM. Reason: Afternoon Update
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Old August 21st, 2016, 08:55 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Comeback King View Post
ES plan for 8/18:

SR zones I have marked:

66.75 - 68.50
73.75 - 75.25
81.50 - 83.0
87.25 - 89.0

We look to be opening just to the upside of yesterdays VAH. If the market dips to this level on the open I'll monitor for long positions. I would prefer a drop to my SR zone at 75.25 to buy. If we get to that level, I will be stalking.

If we pop off the open I will be watching the 81.50 to 83.0 area closely. If this area defends I'll be looking to short.

Going into the open I am slightly short biased based on VWAP.

My goal today is to take at least 1 valid setup and trade it through to completion, meaning I will not exit after a 3 tick profit; I will follow my trading plan and trade the chart for at least 1 setup today.

End of the day:
There was a very nice short setup just after the open, price ran to my SR zone and was being rejected. I was gun shy and didn't enter a position and missed a small profit.

Just after 10:00 the market rebounded to this area again. I was getting a nice divergence on my RSX and entered a short position. Price bounced off VWAP, which was tightening with my SMA indicating a possible trend change or chop. I exited the position +1 which was a valid exit.

There were 3 additional setups during the day and I skipped them all, simply paper trading them. All were scratch trades. I did note a nice divergence at 14:19/20; price hit 2182.50 after previously hitting that level on high volume at 13:41. There was a nice RSX divergence on the second attempt on lower volume and RSX turned down. I am still tracking these types of setups for now.

Goal: Achieved
Setups: 5
Trades: 1
% Traded: 20%

Hey! Just stumbled on to your journal! I am a fellow ES trader. You may have seen me in the "Spoo-nalysis" thread before. You made a great decision the moment you made this journal! It will help you so much!

Anyways, I read through the thread and thought I would give some feedback! Now, keep in mind that I am only trying to help

First off, what is "RSX"? Is it actually valuable? Or is it just telling you something that you can already see on the chart without it?

Secondly, what exactly are your "setups"? If you want help on stuff, you will have to give us something more to work with

Thirdly, what kind of trading do you do? Are you scalping for a point at a time? Are you looking for +10 points a trade? What are you willing to lose on a trade?

The answers to these questions can help us help you!

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Old August 22nd, 2016, 10:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Favorite Futures: ES, NQ
 
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Hey! Just stumbled on to your journal! I am a fellow ES trader. You may have seen me in the "Spoo-nalysis" thread before. You made a great decision the moment you made this journal! It will help you so much!

Anyways, I read through the thread and thought I would give some feedback! Now, keep in mind that I am only trying to help

First off, what is "RSX"? Is it actually valuable? Or is it just telling you something that you can already see on the chart without it?

Secondly, what exactly are your "setups"? If you want help on stuff, you will have to give us something more to work with

Thirdly, what kind of trading do you do? Are you scalping for a point at a time? Are you looking for +10 points a trade? What are you willing to lose on a trade?

The answers to these questions can help us help you!

Thanks for checking out my journal and asking some questions, I'm definitely looking for help to "make the turn".

RSX is just a modified version of RSI, it moves a little more quickly than RSI does. I trade from work and can't install anything on my computer so I use Tradingview for charting and this is an option there. RSX isn't something I rely on, and I could trade without it but I do like to take a look at it for divergences and confirmation of higher highs, lower lows, etc.

For my setups, I mark my charts with my support/resistance zones based on volume profile. I like to use a composite profile and look back 3-5 days to identify LVN's and HVN's, but I will go back further depending on where price is. I also take into account recent daily profiles but I place more emphasis on the composite profile. I log my zones and evaluate whether they were good or bad at the end of the trading day, studying where they could have been if they were not good zones.

I have a couple of setups I play when prices enter my zone. The first is if price moves through the zone very quickly. If this happens I will look for a sharp pullback to the zone within 5 minutes or so; I'm looking for more of a "V" (or upside down V) to buy or sell. If price runs through my zone then moves sideways outside of the zone, I won't immediately trade a reentry into the zone.

My second setup is where price moves into the zone and stops. Using a short example, price will move into the zone then stall within that zone. Price might trade to the upside outside the zone but won't hold there. In this case I will look for price to break down and trade outside of my zone to the downside; I want price to close outside the zone, not just spike and retrace. If this happens, I'll enter short when price hits the bottom of the zone again.

My stops are 1 tick outside (on the other side) of my SR zone. This will put my stop at 1.75 to 2.25 stops in this volatility. My plan is to trade 2 contracts, scaling out at 1R on the first and holding the 2nd to a logical target. That could be the next SR zone or another spot of support or resistance on my chart. Based on back testing and paper trade results, I would be profitable with a risk:reward of 1, as my hits outnumber my stops.

I trade off a 1-minute chart but I do look at a 5-minute and 10-minute as longer time frame reference points. Often I find clues in the longer time frame charts that I won't get in a 1-minute chart.

Again, thanks for checking out my log - I'm certainly open to feedback.

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Old August 22nd, 2016, 04:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
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Favorite Futures: ES, NQ
 
Posts: 85 since Aug 2016
Thanks: 29 given, 74 received

There were a few really nice divergences like this today that were profitable. These types of setups are not part of my plan at the moment; I'm only trading identified support and resistance zones. What I need to do is go back historically and record these occurrences, noting the hits and stops and start doing this moving forward so I can identify if there's a general edge with these or if I'm biased toward the ones that work but not seeing the ones that would stop out.

The below is my RSX indicator, a modified version of RSI.

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Old August 22nd, 2016, 06:05 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Favorite Futures: ES, NQ
 
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Thanks: 29 given, 74 received

ES Plan for 8/23

SR Zones I have marked:

88.0 - 89.50
85.0 - 86.0
82.0 - 83.0
77.50 - 78.75
73.25 - 74.25
67.50 - 69.0

TOR: 2183.50
VAH: 2182.50
VAL: 2176.75
BOR: 2173.50

I will formulate a trading plan in the AM. My anticipation is a choppy, tight range market until we can move beyond this tight trading range. I don't have a bullish/bearish bias; I generally have no idea which way we resolve and I'm 100% okay with that. I'll attempt to record SR zones as best as I can identify them and trade those appropriately.

ONH: 88.0
ONL: 79.25
Currently trading 86.50. The most likely scenario is that we will tag the overnight high, whether that is the first move off the open or not is the big question. There's a bit of news during market hours this morning at 9:45 and 10:00; I will be very cautious or out of the market during these times.

The good news is that we look to open above the muddled range we've been trapped in. We will open above both the HOD and VAH from yesterday. We also look likely to fill the gap from 8/15. How the market reacts here will keep my attention. I believe we need to hold the 82.0 area on a pullback; if we do this we could get higher prices all day.

I will be looking long at a pullback to the 82.0 area. I will also be watching above in the 88.0 - 89.50 area for the market to stall. I will sell on a rejection of this area but I will be much more cautious. I will only sell here if I get confirmation from my RSX or a big volume spike with a bearish candle, or a big volume spike with a lower volume retest. Because we are opening above both the VAH and HOD, I am leaning bullish today and will be more aggressive buying pullbacks that I will be selling rejection of resistance zones.

End of the Day:

I just realized that I forgot to set a goal this morning...I was much busier than normal.

Today was a snooze fest overall. I did have the opportunity to take 1 valid setup, which hit a modest target, but I passed on it. The setup was nice but the logical target was also very close and the market just wasn't moving much, so I didn't see a point in forcing a trade in a near motionless market; I'll wait for a better day.


Last edited by Comeback King; August 23rd, 2016 at 04:44 PM. Reason: End of Day
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Old August 23rd, 2016, 09:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Favorite Futures: ES, NQ
 
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ES Plan for 8/24

SR Zones I have marked:

91.0 - 92.0
85.0 - 86.0
82.0 - 83.50
77.50 - 79.0
73.0 - 74.0

TOR: 2191.50
VAH: 2191.0
VAL: 2186.75
BOR: 2185.50

Kind of a cross between a B and a p distribution on 8/23.

I will see where we are from the overnight and formulate a few specific ideas in the morning.

ONH: 87.75
ONL: 80.75

We look to be opening right around where we opened and closed yesterday - in the middle of congestion. I have an SR level at 85/86; the same as yesterday. The 86 level held well yesterday, acting as support on 4 occasions. I also had an SR zone between 88-89.50 yesterday but I've removed that for today as there was a fair bit of trading within that zone yesterday. Even though I've not marked this as a zone on my charts, I will be watching it (88-89.50).

My bias is for a choppy day, so I'm going to be cautious until the market sends a different signal. There is a high probability that we take out the ONH at 87.75 but we're so tight that I don't like the idea of buying 85-86 right at the open.

If we move up off the open, I will keep an eye on the 91-92 area for a short possibility. VWAP and SMA are showing a bullish bias, so this isn't a scenario I like but I'll be stalking a short if it happens; I will look for a quick move and will be quicker to scratch a trade if it isn't moving down.

If we drop off the open, to my zone around 83.50 I will be stalking a long. This would be my preferred setup.

If we chop around, I will stay out of the market until either a) prices move up to the 91 area, b) prices move down to the 83.50 area or c) 86/85 are holding as good support or resistance.

Goal for the day is to enter any valid setup at 91 or 86.50 and STAY WITH THE TRADE according to my plan.

I understand that I'm going to be uncomfortable, but you don't grow from being comfortable, you grow when you're outside your comfort zone.

10:50 Update

Well, I talked myself out of shorting my 82.0 level, which hit. I didn't trade because I was uncertain, but of course, that's going to be normal. I was on a call (work) at the time, so I was not 100% focused, and the market has been choppy with a tight range so far today, BUT I need to play me setups when they are valid - PERIOD. I don't know if I would have played this even if I had been 100% focused on the market because there was this uncertainty. Perhaps I could have worked through it and perhaps not, but that cannot be an excuse for not executing my plan.

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End of Day Update

Today was pretty frustrating for me overall. It started out with the above, I missed a perfectly good setup because of uncertainty. My bias was also that we would have a choppy day, and the open was confirming that. It is this bias, my uncertainty, and my need to feel in control of the outcome that made me freeze. Part of creating a clear and specific trading plan is to remove these types of emotional decisions from my trading; I can just focus on my plan. However, my plan is not 100% robotic; there are times when I must judge the market environment/context and make a decision and this is where I failed on my first trade today.

There was a trade setting up just before noon today that I skipped also. I don't trade between noon and 13:30; I use that time to accomplish things at work and if it's slow I'll watch a webinar, work on statistics and meditate and refocus. This trade was very close to noon so I skipped it, even though it was tradable per my written trading plan. I did paper trade it, watching my DOM for pretend fills both into and out of my target prices. This was a successful trade, netting 4.75 points, the same as the first trade I skipped.

During my lunch I was watching a webinar and keeping an eye on the market; I normally do this in case anything interesting happens. There was a really nice setup unfolding just before 13:00, an RSX divergence at the top of my 82-83.50 SR zone. I was VERY tempted to trade this, even though I know that trading in this time isn't part of my plan. I was still upset at my earlier mistakes and not in a great frame of mind, so I left my office and went for a drive for about 20 minutes - I can't trade from my car.

Finally, at around 14:20 the market was pushing lower. The first push occurred at 14:05, pushed through my SR zone between 77.50 - 79.0 on large volume. Volume spikes always grab my attention and since RSX was oversold at this point I was very keen. I was specifically watching for a bounce followed by a retest of that area on lighter volume with an improved RSX - signaling a bullish divergence. This happened, as seen on the chart below at point A. I strongly considered going long here at 2175.50, and I marked this as a paper trade. My issue with going long here was the tight overhead resistance. Because of this I decided to skip the real trade and just treat it as a paper trade. My stop was 4 ticks and my 1st target was 4 ticks with my second target TBD. As soon as my first target was hit, I would move my stop to break even and look for a logical exit. This is where I lost a bit of focus. I figured/assumed that the market was just going to move sideways then move lower and take out my BE stop. Now, if I'd actually been in the market I would have stayed with the trade but since I was paper trading this move, I decided to drop off some paperwork to one of my managers. We got into a conversation and by the time I got back, I see that the market had already made a move at B on my chart, setting up a bearish divergence and moving lower. This would have been a great exit point for my A trade, and this is a valid short signal at B. Price did not eclipse 2177.50 after the short signal, and not watching the DOM I have no idea if the sellers at this level were cleared out or not. When I back test, I would treat this as a no fill, since it was a profitable trade. The real problem here was that I didn't stay with the market. I assumed X would happen so I did other things that could have waited and potentially missed an opportunity to get short at 77.50. At the very least, I would have had the chance to put into practice what I'm continuing to work on - pulling the trigger.

That's a very long summary, but I made a lot of mistakes today. I've already written about this in my Excel journal that I'm also keeping, so I hope that by getting this out it will clear my head a bit and I won't carry any baggage into tomorrows session.

So, I definitely did not achieve my trading goal today. While I fully understand and acknowledge my areas for development, and while I fully understand that I can't watch a few more webinars, do some blogging, do some meditating, write a few good bullet points down to look at during the day and just fix these things overnight; I can say that I made 0 progress today. I have been able to shed light on my mental issues, yes - but these are not new. I don't feel that I gained any ground in terms of getting over these hurdles today - at best it was a neutral day...at least I didn't do anything stupid that cost me money.

I have many things I can focus on tonight and tomorrow morning before the open in terms of resetting my mind and getting into a good place mentally for trading the market tomorrow.

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Last edited by Comeback King; August 24th, 2016 at 08:01 PM. Reason: End of Day Update
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