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CK's ES Journal

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  #1 (permalink)
 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradingView
Trading: NQ, ES
 
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Posts: 262 since Aug 2016
Thanks: 186 given, 365 received

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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  #3 (permalink)
 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradingView
Trading: NQ, ES
 
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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%

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 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradingView
Trading: NQ, ES
 
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Thanks: 186 given, 365 received

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.

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 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Trading: NQ, ES
 
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Thanks: 186 given, 365 received

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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 rocksolid68 
Duluth MN
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader/Sierra Chart
Broker: AMP
Trading: ES
 
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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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 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradingView
Trading: NQ, ES
 
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Posts: 262 since Aug 2016
Thanks: 186 given, 365 received


rocksolid68 View Post
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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 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradingView
Trading: NQ, ES
 
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Posts: 262 since Aug 2016
Thanks: 186 given, 365 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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 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradingView
Trading: NQ, ES
 
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Posts: 262 since Aug 2016
Thanks: 186 given, 365 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.

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 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradingView
Trading: NQ, ES
 
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Posts: 262 since Aug 2016
Thanks: 186 given, 365 received


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.



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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 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
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ES Plan for 8/25

SR Zones I have marked:

91.0 - 92.0
88.0 - 89.50
83.75 - 85.0
78.0 - 79.50
71.50 - 73.25
67.0 - 68.50
56.0 - 58.0

TOR: 2184.75
VAH: 2189.25
VAL: 2174.50
BOR: 2168.75

The profile today looks to me like two "B's" had a head-on collision - a quadruple distribution. The good news is that there was great range and 390% range expansion after the first 40 minutes. Prior to today, the post 40 minute range expansion 15-day MA was 74%. Hopefully this will loosen things up a bit in the market and get disagreement about value.

I'll see where the overnight and premarket takes us and formulate a plan in the AM.

8:47AM

ONH: 76.25
ONL: 69.0

It looks like we will open below 8/24 value of 74.50 this morning. This is generally bearish and this is reinforced by the position of VWAP and my SMA; these are very bearish. Using the VWAP/SMA position pre-market isn't super reliable due to lower volume, so I won't be married to the bearish idea, but I will go into the open with a strong lean.

Based on what I am seeing, the 68.50 support level is very important; I would call that major support. I think we need to hold that in order to stay in this range; it this area is lost and not gained back in short order, I think we could see a lot of downside today and tomorrow. Saying that, I'll attempt to trade what I see happening, not what I think could happen.

My plans for today:

1) If we push down off the open I will be watching the 68.50 area for support and would go long here if price action confirms and I get a valid signal. This could be a high stress trade as I might be fading a strong move, but I need to trust my signals. In this scenario I would look for a return to the chop zone/August area of value in the 84-76 range.

2) If we push higher off the open I will be looking to sell. My first spot would be my SR zone between 71.50 and 73.25. It's possible that we will open either in this area or very close to it, so I'll be cautious if it does. The longer term value area is up around 74.0, so if we get into this area and hold I will look to the long side until we reach my SR zone at 78.0, where I would be stalking a short.

My goal for today is to be calm and release control to the market. I believe that if I can release control to the market, I will have removed a heavy weight from myself. The weight of wanting to have control is very heavy and I don't need to carry it around. If I am able to release control, I will be able to get into and out of at least 1 valid signal today. I will measure success by this and by an honest assessment of my calmness.

Mid Session Update

Mixed results so far today. I took 2 trades, the first I scalped for +1; I bailed early. I got into the trade fine but the exit was emotional and not per my plan. My second trade was a valid setup, but it was also not in a great spot as I was shorting a little shy of a resistance zone. I took immediate heat but I was okay with it, no big deal. Price wasn't running lower like I wanted and since this was a less than ideal zone I scratched the trade at break even. Again, not according to plan here. I followed it through on paper, following my plan and it was a winner. I'm not being too hard on myself over this one because of the odd setup. I do, however, need to commit to trading my plan if I'm going to enter a trade. If I'm uncomfortable because of an odd level, then I need to decide to enter or stay out. If I enter, I need to trade my plan.

My emotions have been okay but I'm not focusing when I am in the middle of a trade. This afternoon I will place more emphasis on focusing on my plan while in the trade and accepting any discomfort I have.



End of Day Update

The market really didn't open up today, range was again under 10 points and the post 40 minute range expansion was only 41%, well below the 15 day MA.

VWAP:SMA was tight today indicating chop. We did get a few ranging moves but prices were falling short of my SR zones and divergences were hitting in the middle of my zones or in areas where risk was increased which skewed my R ratio making a trade too risky versus the logical reward/target.

I ended up taking part in 2 trades today. While my plan calls for even numbers of contracts to be traded, I am still just trading a single contract for now. I do need to increase this to 2 in order to follow my entry and exit strategy.

Entering my trades was very easy and I was very calm and relaxed. However, on both occasions I micro managed the trade, letting my emotions guide my decisions rather than my trading plan. On both, I bailed too early - a habit I am repeating. Neither trade ran into my stop and both trades hit my initial 1R profit target, my exit point while I am trading 1 contract. These are clearly mistake trades and while I was "calm" I was also guided by emotions. I also did not stick to my trading plan on either trade, so my goal was not accomplished.

I can find some positives today. I am recognizing and acknowledging that I am letting my emotions take over my trade. I have yet to discover the emotional queue which leads to this, but I am working on ways to see this happening and taking a step back. My plan calls for a reassessment of the market if my first target has not been hit within 20 minutes, so I have a few options. My trading platform does not offer an OCO type order, so setting orders and simply walking away isn't so much of an option. I could end up getting a fill on my stop followed by the market moving to hit my exit orders and I'd be in an unwanted position.

What I am considering is meditating in spurts while my orders are sitting. If one is hit, I will get an audible alert so I can react at that point. I also have some soundbites from webinars recorded that I can listen to; this will draw my attention to my tendency/habit to let my emotions drive my trade once I have entered the market. I have some music saved - about 20 minutes worth of songs that I could play that would do the same - keep my mind focused. I am also creating an object that will redirect my focus using an NLP technique I learned many years ago. I had a plan to control my emotions pre-trade coming into today and that worked well. What I didn't have was a good plan to control my emotions intra-trade. I will have a plan tomorrow for this and I will put it to work.

P&L wise I ended +1 today on my 2 trades. My mistakes cost me an additional 2 ticks based on my paper trading results of those trades. I did paper trade a 3rd setup that gained 3 points; this was a very nice RSX divergence BUT it was 6 ticks short of the bottom of one of my SR levels. That's a pretty crappy place really. I saw the signal coming - I was sure there would be a divergence and was just waiting for the entry trigger. As I saw it developing (price was making a higher high while RSX was clearly going to make a lower low unless we started to rip) I started preparing for an entry. When the price turned down, I started evaluating where I would potentially place my stop and where my 1R target would be based on the stop. Based on the price area and where my SR zones were located, I decided that this was a higher risk trade than I was willing to participate in and just paper traded the setup, recording the result for my record keeping.

Despite not meeting my goal and letting my emotions guide my trade management, I am feeling good at the end of the trading day. I didn't get pissed off and do something stupid. I did recognize what I did wrong and I have made a corrective plan. It will be up to me to sincerely implement this corrective plan the next time I enter a trade, but I'll do work tonight to prepare myself for this tomorrow. Trading is a lot like golf. When I was golfing a lot I'd recognize something with my swing that I needed to correct - maybe my hip rotation. But there were times that overfocusing on this would cause the last thing I saw and was focusing on to correct to go to shit again - and my little white ball would still end up in the woods. Luckily, trading differs in that I don't have to correct the entire shot process at once. I can focus on my emotional fix for skipping good setups and get into a trade. Once I'm in, I can then shift to my intra-trade emotions; I don't need to focus on them both at the same time, I can have a transition - this is where I can make trading different than golf.

Lastly, I've really been working on keeping my PMA (positive mental attitude) despite what might be disappointing days. Several weeks ago I passed up some scary but total valid setups that were big winners; I did this two days in a row. I was super-pissed for about 3 days after; I was extremely down and this carried on at work and at home. That weekend I did a lot of thinking and sort of did a reset. I decided that I'm not going to turn trading into something negative. I enjoy the process of finding an edge and working on my trading mentality, even though it's hard. I am a former competitive powerlifter, who stopped due to age and injuries. That was hard also, but I enjoyed it. I enjoyed the bloody shins after a deadlift session and I enjoyed and accepted the pain because I realized it was part of the process. Somehow I'd lost those lessons when it came to trading. So, in my Come to Jesus meeting with myself I really thought about my life, my values and my overall worldview. That has been helpful and I've done a 180 since that weekend; and I'm very happy that I'm continuing to keep my PMA even though I have days where I'm not achieving what seem like pretty simple goals.

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 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
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ES Plan for 8/26

SR Zones I have marked:

83.75 - 84.75 (good)
78.0 - 79.50 (good)
71.50 - 73.0 (good)
67.0 - 68.25 (good)
58.50 - 56.50 (good)

TOR: 2177.25
VAH: 2173.50
VAL: 2169.0
BOR: 2167.75

We're coming off a double distribution day where the market opened below value but above range, tested lower, taking out the ONL then slowly worked higher before moving lower into noon, hitting VWAP. Lunchtime was a tight sideways range before the market dropping, presumably on Saudi oil news. Post drop found a 2nd tight range and another distribution area. It looks like more short term buyers and sellers agreeing on price with the longer term players inactive.

I'll see what happens overnight and premarket and put a full plan together based on that. There is the usual premarket Friday news along with JY speaking at 10:00. My expectation is a pretty flat market until 10:00 at least. Based on the speech, we might see some fireworks and I'm not trained to handle these things so I will be extremely cautious. I'll consider a Grade A prime setup on the open but won't stick around very long, and if the market gets wild after 10:00, I'll take a step back until things settle a bit.

ONH: 76.25
ONL: 72.75

Nice 14 tick overnight range; the market is on life support here. Luckily Yellen has the paddles ready to go. I expect the unexpected so I will be sitting on my hands until the market has some meaning today. My last stupid trade was a few months ago when I took a flier on FOMC minutes and shorted 2 ticks from the bottom. I made up my mind that I would not be an idiot ever again and this lesson is still very fresh in my mind.


Plan for today:

1) Stay out of the way early. Watch the news and watch the market reaction and learn, but don't trade. Evaluate the conditions at 11:00 and formulate a plan at that time if the market is not whipsawing around. If it's still crazy, evaluate over the lunch period and formulate a plan for after 13:30. If I don't trade today it's okay.

Goals: 1) Don't take a stupid casino trade. 2) If the market is settled and I see a valid setup, put into practice what I have been working on, a) release control and get into my trade and b) once I am in the trade be aware of my emotions but don't act on them, stick to my trading plan. I want to follow through through from start to finish 1 time today if there is an opportunity.

Midday Update

Wild morning. I had a subtle divergence to sell at 11:29 that I passed on. This was just prior to Stan Fischer's comments about a rate hike. My divergence was saying that upward momentum was slowing, but I was skeptical given the news and emotion fueled trading. Clearly the market sold off super hard after this last push, but the selloff had 0 to do with this divergence and 100% to do with new news hitting the market.

There was a lot of money made this morning and just as much money lost. I am happy to have been a neutral observer, following my plan.



The afternoon session was a bit more predictable though highly volatile. I was very patient watching the market and waiting for a good opportunity to make an entry. Because of the high volatility I wanted to be cautious. I really thought the 68.50 area was a key support level that we needed to hold or see major downside, down to 58.50. Right at 12:00 price dropped to and bounced off of 68.50 (68.0 was the low on that candle). Price did a sideways thing here which I figured was bad news then blew through this support level. At this moment I thought this level would provide sturdy resistance. This was tested at 12:21, 12:44 and 13:02. The 13:02 test grabbed my attention as price broke above 68.50 but was quickly knocked back below on the next candle, that was the first piece of evidence we would test the 58.50 area and not move higher here. At 13:02, price made a higher high as compared to the 12:44 high, but RSX was lower signaling a bearish divergence. A bearish divergence at a key support level where the market has just slammed a test above this area is a Grade A, high probability setup in my book. I waited for a red RSX dot, which came quickly, and I put an order to sell in at 67.0. Point A in the chart shows a candle hitting 67.0 but I did not get a fill. The next candle ran lower so I assumed I had missed my opportunity. I decided to take a short walk since I didn't get a fill; I wasn't pissed or anything I just figured I knew how this would play out; I thought the market would tank from here. 4 minutes later price moved back to and through 68.0 - I would have been filled! I have a sign at my desk that says the following, "Stay with the market, stay engaged. You don't know what will happen when". Obviously I was shocked to see what had unfolded while I was away as soon as I got back. Because I had not followed my own advice I missed my trade. The funny thing is this ran for a 10 point win and took only 2 ticks of heat; the entry was better than break even in 3 minutes.

So...I didn't really get a chance to practice exercising my demons today, those of getting into the market and staying in the market according to my plan. I failed even before I had the chance. I was not disciplined and I again assumed I knew what would happen. Quite a while ago, when I got back into trading, I was 100% discretionary. I would make trades based on what I thought, or assumed would happen. If I thought the market would go down from point X, I'd sell and the opposite for buying. I learned very quickly that I have no idea what the hell the market will be doing. Sure, sometimes I'm right - and I'm good at remembering those times. But way more often than not, I'm wrong. That is the precise reason I started exploring a more systematic way of trading and why I have a plan with a very specific set of rules that I need to follow. That's why I don't fade the initial Fed reaction, even though I figured that was the right thing to do; that's not in my plan. I really don't want to be a casino trader; I want to put on risk in an intelligent and systematic manner. But in this example, I reverted back to assuming and missed out on an opportunity to practice discipline, patience and focus; and I very likely made an error that hit my P&L as well.



So, I have homework for the weekend - mental homework. I believe this is going to stick with me for a while, because it stings - bad. I'll be damned if I'm going to walk away from a potential trade again any time soon. If I need to go, I'll just leave my fill and my stop orders in and come back to see what happened...I'd much rather do that than assume and miss out again.

This weekend I will review this weeks charts, looking over all of the setups again. I will also review all of August since we're near the end of the month. I'll work on my mental homework, and read over my trading plan at least 10 times. I will spend time in meditation. I will consider creating a step by step process of what to do when a signal is approaching. I have this, but it's scattered in a few places; perhaps writing it in my trading plan would be good. I'm not going to kick my own ass the entire weekend because I made an error today. I made an error, it was a unique error and one I didn't really see coming - I wasn't focused on this one. I will not be making this error again, and I'll go back to working on the recurring things that are holding me back.

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 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Negatives for the week:
1. Too many error trades, skipping valid entries and exiting too soon - not according to my plan.
2. I lost focus more than I wanted to.
3. I reverted back to assuming I knew what the market would do, even though I know that's foolish.

Positives for the week:
1. I had a very active Monday.
2. I continued to develop tools to enable to me to stick to my trading plan.
3. I established a good morning routine for trading; one that I will be able to continue into the future. I have been arriving at work much later now that school has started and I drop my kids off, so the week before (and even part of last week) was very unsettling as I am feeling rushed and unprepared. I solved this issue during the week.
4. I am growing more confident in the quality of my trading plan and setups.
5. I am even more committed to overcoming my obstacles than I was at this time last week.

I took 6 trades this week, 5 (83%) were error trades. I finished the week +2.0 points. Monday was my most active day with 4 total trades. I skipped a number of valid setups and took 1 casino trade. The casino trade was extremely low risk but I should not have taken it; it's outside of my trading plan.

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 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
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ES Plan for 8/29

SR Zones I have marked:

88.0 - 89.50 (not tested)
83.50 - 84.75 (not tested)
71.50 - 73.0 (not tested)
65.0 - 66.50 (not tested)
60.0 - 61.0 (not tested)
57.50 - 58.25 (not tested)

TOR: 2186.75
VAH: 2177.0
VAL: 2158.0
BOR: 2157.50

Friday's distribution was more of a B, with areas of value found above the 72/74 area early and then below after Fischer's clarifying remarks were made around 11:30. At the current time, price is around 68, so in this zone that I think it a pretty key area. I'll make more detailed plans in the morning after the overnight action, but I will be looking carefully at the 67/68 zone. Even though I don't have this marked as an SR area I do think it's important, and will use it as a bullish/bearish bias. I would not be surprised if we had a very slow, low range day on Monday given Friday's volatility. If there is heavy action, I'd lean toward a volatile open as traders look for price agreement after digesting everything from Friday. So...either a totally dead day or a wild first hour followed by a dead day - those would be my predictions. Having said that, I'll trade (or attempt to trade) what the charts are telling me.

ONH: 71.75
ONL: 64.75

Price is pretty flat moving into the open; looking at an open slightly higher than Friday's close which means above the 67/68 zone. I'm still expecting a pretty slow day today after Friday's volatility. My plan:

1) If we move up off the open to the ONH (set 8:50) I will look with interest as this is an SR zone for me. If we can't move past 73.0 I will be a seller.

2) If we move down off the open, I will really be watching the 66.50-65.0 zone. If we can hold that zone I will look to buy in this area. If we move down and out of this zone, below 65.0 I'll see how we react but I will be looking for a short in the 65 area.

Because I'm leaning toward a mild day, my tendency would be to fade moves to the extremes rather than look for a breakout/breakdown to run. However, I will still stay flexible. If the market explodes or tanks I'm not just going to blindly fade it.

Goal for the day: I really need to get 1 trade in with 0 mistakes. I just need to jump off the diving board into the pool 1 time to prove to myself that I won't drown. I'm not going to blow my account up in 1 trade or even 50 trades. I have been working on tools to help me stick to my plan, so I need to utilize those tools and accept the pain.

Midday Update

We're getting a pretty slow day for sure. So far I've had 2 tradable setups; I took the first and skipped the second as it seemed a lower probability. Both were break even trades.

I went short at 10:11 based on a bearish divergence between price and RSX. I saw this developing and I thought for a bit it would not actually develop but it did. I entered without any difficulty and felt pretty good. I decided it would be best if I just left and took a walk around the office so I didn't fiddle. I came back to see that nothing much had happened. Because the VWAP was in a position of strength, my plan calls for a shorter wait time for the trade to start working. I was right at this point so I just exited with a 1 tick profit; basically according to plan. While I could have sat with the trade a little longer, there was news coming in at 10:30 and I wanted to be either out of the market by that time or in the market with a good profit.

Looking back at the trade I feel that I bailed on it a little early but at the same time I took an exit at break even before the news hit. Had I not exited when I did, price could have moved up past my entry and not moved back down before the news release. I would have been faced with the option of holding into news, which I think is a pretty bad idea, or taking a loss. While I think I did the correct thing, I don't have a warm and fuzzy feeling about my execution.

My challenge for the afternoon will be staying with the market. I've looked at the sign in front of me probably 20 times in the last hour that says "Stay with the market, stay engaged. You don't know what will happen when". I'm going to keep reading that.



End of Day Update

ES put it a B profile today and stuck to 2 very tight ranges. I thought we might break down in the afternoon as we were approaching a sort of cliff around 79.0 but buyers kept stepping in and moving the market slightly higher. When we finally did break 79.0 there was not much downside momentum. Based on the profile I didn't expect there to be a lot but I thought the possibility was there for the market to move down into the lower distribution if 79.0 didn't hold. What ended up happening was (it seems to me) additional buyers stepping in to keep the market up and preventing a move to the lower distribution around 76/77. I was not in a position to trade this action either way as it's not a setup in my trading plan, but I thought the price action was interesting to watch. We closed back up into the chop zone which while a little disappointing isn't at all surprising. I suppose it's going to take larger fundamental shift to lurch the markets from this area. Perhaps that will be a new month, perhaps it will be the jobs report on Friday.

I did achieve my goal today, even though it was actually pretty easy. Staying in a trade is much more challenging when it starts to move into a profit zone as I'm tempted to take a small profit rather than letting the trade play out according to my plan. I am sure that if I can continue to enter trades throughout the week I will be fully tested.

I ended the day with 1 trade for a 1 tick profit. There were 2 potential setups but the 2nd was sketchy and of very low quality so I skipped it.

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 rocksolid68 
Duluth MN
 
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This is a good journal you have here, but if you are seeking help, advice, or constructive criticism, you should get the elite membership.

It is definitely one of the best investments you will ever make.

Good luck!

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 Inletcap 
Murrells Inlet SC
 
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rocksolid68 View Post
This is a good journal you have here, but if you are seeking help, advice, or constructive criticism, you should get the elite membership.

It is definitely one of the best investments you will ever make.

Good luck!



Well organized journal and your putting the effort in- folks would be happy to help. There are a few things in the elite section regarding context and understanding the markets (no trading system bs) from some very experienced and talented traders that would likely change things for you forever. Best 2 ES points one could ever spend on thier trading IMO.

Best of luck on your journey- appears you are off to a good start!

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 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
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Thanks for the suggestion, I'll check out Elite Membership...

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 Comeback King 
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ES Plan for 8/30

SR Zones I have marked:

Major
91.25 - 93.0 (not tested)
88.0 - 89.50 (not tested)
83.50 - 84.75 (not tested)
65.25 - 66.50 (not tested)
60.0 - 61.25 (not tested)

Minor, within the chop

77.50 - 78.50 (okay to good)
74.75 - 76.0 (good)
72.0 - 73.0 (good)

TOR: 2182.25
VAH: 2180.50
VAL: 2175.75
BOR: 2169.25

This is the first time I've distinguished between major and minor SR zones, but there are 3 that are within a composite value area. They are pretty obvious but are very tight/close together. I have added these to my charts and will utilize them but I will be much more cautious about my entries in these areas. If we can break out of this composite value area between 67 and 83 then I will use my regular/major SR zones as I normally do.

My feeling at this moment is that we're likely to stay within this composite value area between 67 and 83 unless there is some major news that will shift the perception of value. I would imagine that many traders (longer time frame traders) are taking a cautious approach until the jobs report on Friday. This will leave the markets in the hands of the short term traders and computers who will keep price in a tight range. I suppose we shall see.

I'll develop a plan in the morning after I can see the overnight and early morning sessions.

Morning Update

ONH: 80.75
ONL: 76.75

Really tight overnight range, mostly staying within 8/29 VA. With no premarket news we look to be opening around an SR area that I have marked, 77.50-78.50. This is minor SR as it is inside my composite VA and area of serious chop.

Plans for today:

We have a few minor news releases this morning, at 9:00 and 10:00. These are generally not market movers so I'm not expecting much out of them. Because we are opening in value, I'm expecting a range bound day and I would not be surprised if it was pretty tight. The average August RTH range was a little over 10 points prior to Friday; I believe we will be in this area for today's range.

1) If we push up off the open I will be keeping an eye on the 83.50 - 84.75 area for a short opportunity. Unless there is news driving us to this level I will be fairly aggressive with a short here. If we move lower first, find strong buyers then push to this level I will still look for a short but will be less aggressive.

2) If we push lower off the open I will look for a long opportunity around 76.0 down to 74.75. 76 is both the top of an SR zone for me as well as a tick below yesterday's VAL. An initial push lower could well find buying support here and move up. I will be fairly aggressive in looking for a long in this area, but will not just blindly put an order in. If we push higher first, then move lower I will be more cautious in this area.

I don't have any SR zone marked out in the 68-69 area because the volume profile does not suggest that there should be one there. However, I still think this is a key support area and as long as we stay above it I think the bulls have the advantage. If we close below 68-69 I think we could see continued downside; the bears will have the upper hand.

Goal for the day: I will enter and exit at least 1 valid setup according to my plan. To do this, I will need to 1) stay with the market, 2) let go of my need for control and give that to the market and 3) utilize my tools to recognize my emotions while my trade is on - acknowledge my emotions but not let them guide my decisions.

End of Day

Today was a pretty poor trading day for my style. I did manage to pull off 1 trade late in the day; it was a very sketchy entry but it fit my criteria. I was pretty doubtful about the trade; that's not all that uncommon but the chart wasn't really screaming to take the trade. I put my order in, got filled and then got stopped out 13 minutes later. And this is the core of my issue. I get into good trades and bail way too early. I finally get into a trade and it stops out. My stop loss was 6 ticks, so very reasonable and that won't kill me. But, since I have been taking profits way too early on my good trades, I'm now up $1.50 since last Monday. At some point, this is going to be so painful that I will change because it really pisses me off. Not the stop out so much, I get that those will happen. But my not staying in working trades is costing me.

Here's the first setup. It happened pretty fast and wasn't really clear at the time. Looking back on it, it's pretty obvious but at the time it didn't seem so given the tight ranges between my SR zones. I wasn't 100% focused on trading because one of my managers had the nerve to call me and start asking some questions while I was in the middle of stalking a trade...some people. In reality, I'm not sure if I would have caught the initial bounce back to SR anyway, though I did think about putting an order in after that but I was distracted. I'm not sure I would have gotten a fill, so this probably would have been a missed signal.



There was also a pretty nice long trade after the impulse move to a new LOD but I wasn't too comfortable with an entry. I did paper trade this one and it was a break even trade as the market just wasn't reacting off the low quickly enough and I cut the trade short.

As we were pushing down in the afternoon making new lows I was really looking for a spot to get long. Unfortunately, nothing really set up for me to trade. I saw a couple of possibilities, but I'm really looking at a few specific setups at this point; I really want to trade within my plan.

At 14:55 price pushed up to 2172, the lower end of one of my SR zones. I really don't like to re-short breakdown areas like this; the probability of this setup working is much lower based on what I have tracked. Yes, these can and do work, but the failure rate is high as well. I suppose there is logic that there are still people holding long positions in this area and once price gets back there will be selling pressure. That might be in some cases, but given the couple of powerful moves lower once this area broke down, my thinking is that the market has already puked the longs out by now. The grinding up price action is the market auctioning back into range or value.

Anyway, I got some bearish divergences on higher highs that were running into my resistance zone. I knew this was a risky trade, I knew the longs were gone and that there would be little to no residual selling in this area. But at the same time, I was getting a divergence on my chart. I got one of these a week or so ago that failed as well, and I think for pretty much the same reasons (I didn't trade that one). But...I felt that I needed to get a trade on, if for nothing else practice my mental tools for staying in the market. I put the trade on at 15:13, watched it for a minute then took a walk. When I got back, I peeked and didn't like that we were not reacting down very well; the market moved down a little but buyers stepped in; there was not enough selling pressure to push prices lower. I had several chances to exit at break even or a tick or two positive, but I told myself I would stick to my plan no matter what, that I needed to give the trade time to work. In the end, I was right and I was wrong. I was right in that there were not enough residual longs left in this area to drive the market back down. I was right to put on my trade and even though it didn't work, I was right to stick with the trade and let it stop out rather than bail too soon for a break even trade. I was wrong in that the trade wasn't a good setup and I took it anyway. In the end, I'll pay the 6 ticks for a little education and a chance to work on my mental game. I won't however, take this type of setup again because I know how it will probably turn out.



My goal today was achieved, I took a trade and stayed with it. I really needed to do this. Unfortunately, staying with a losing trade is pretty easy. Once you start taking heat there's not a hell of a lot you can do about it except sit and watch your stop get nailed. What I REALLY need is to put a trade on that starts to work, because my big issue is taking profits too soon. Maybe tomorrow.

I made 1 trade today and lost 6 ticks.

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 Comeback King 
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ES Plan for 8/31

SR Zones I have marked:

81.50 - 83.0
77.0 - 78.0
74.75 - 75.75
69.0 - 70.25
64.75 - 66.50

TOR: 2181.50
VAH: 2176.25
VAL: 2171.25
BOR: 2168.50

Pretty rangy day with more of a double distribution or a weak triple distribution. I really like the 77-78 SR zone; this looks nice both from today volume profile and from a short term volume profile. The 81.50-83.0 zone looks good to me as well; if those are tested on Wednesday I expect them to be strong.

I'm still expecting more chop and trading mostly within the recent value area until Friday; I don't think longer term traders will be active. There is a good bit of news tomorrow both premarket and during RTH so we could get some movement off that. I'll be busy with work tomorrow afternoon so my afternoon trading will be either limited or non existent. I'll put together a trading plan in the morning based off overnight trading.

Morning Update

ONH: 76.0
ONL: 71.50 (we're printing as I write this)

We had another tight overnight range but we're breaking down just before the open. I believe there is a case to me made that we will at least touch yesterday's RTH low at 68.50. We could open in value, but if we do it looks to be at the lower end. My plans are as follows:

1) There is a 77% chance ES will break yesterday's high or low. We're very close to the pLO at 68.50 and I think highly probable we will hit that price today. With this in mind, I will fade any strength off the open; I will look to aggressively short in the 75-76 area. I don't have a great feel for what we will do if we get to 68.50, but I would expect a temporary bounce at the least.

2) If we move down right off the open I will be cautious as we approach 68.50. I expect a bounce of some sort and will be looking for a long entry here with a trade moving toward 8/30 POC around 74.25.

The market seems to be drawn back into the longer time frame composite value area. I suppose there have been some bearish comments from the Fed which could potentially see us trade slightly lower. I don't expect any big moves until Friday, so I'll be trading accordingly until that time.

I will have time to trade this morning but probably won't this afternoon. Tomorrow also looks sketchy in the morning but tomorrow afternoon might be better. I should be able to keep an eye on the market, but trading might not happen.

My goal for today is pretty much the same as it's been. Get into a trade that fits my plan and manage it per my plan. I just want to do this 1 time today.

Mid Day Update

I didn't really get either of my plans on the open. Ideally I would have liked prices to move up first and show weakness so I could short. We did move up immediately off the open, but not by much. I did get a nice bearish divergence in the 72.50 area but this was in the middle of two SR zones I had marked and wasn't a clear trade. It would have hit; perhaps I needed to be more aggressive in taking this entry.

I did take a long trade at 11:04. The trend was moving down but it looked to me like we would get a bounce off of an SR level I had. I was getting a slight bullish divergence on the lower lows. Since the divergence wasn't very strong, and since the VWAP/SMA was extremely bearish, I decided to take the trade but give it a short leash. I entered long at 66.50 and later exited -2 ticks. I could have held for a break even trade but I didn't really want to risk a full stop for 2 ticks. I think I did okay on this trade. Hindsight trading is probably the easiest thing there is to do ever, but I feel that I'm being aggressive on the wrong trades and backing out on the harder ones. It's the "easy" trades that lose and the "hard" ones that win.

I'll be watching the market for the rest of the day, but it's likely I won't be able to place trades. If I can, and if one shows up, I'll take it.


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 Comeback King 
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End of Day Update for 8/31

I could not edit my original post as too much time had passed, so here the rest of 8/31...

I could not get a feel for the market today at all. We had another pretty nice range but I could not get a good trade off anywhere. I took the 1 in the morning that didn't pan out. There were a few more signals throughout the day that look pretty good now but we not as obvious at the time. I did have a little time to trade this afternoon as I was not as busy as I thought I would be.

My SR zone at 64.75 - 66.50 wasn't holding anything, price was leaking on either side of this area. While there was some indecision in this zone it didn't exactly repel prices.

I did take a trade outside my plan late in the day. My plan calls for no trading after 15:30 but I saw a short setting up around 15:40 so I traded it. I put a 4 tick stop in, which is too tight, and I got stopped out in less than a minute - pretty stupid. A 6 tick stop would have been fine and I could have scalped the trade for a small profit - a 6 tick stop is generally my minimum. Why I put in the 4 tick stop I don't know, other than a lack of discipline/stupidity.

There were spots today where I could have been aggressive with an entry and I wasn't. Most of these areas would have worked out okay, though some would not have. My issue was that I was passive when I should have been aggressive and the one time I should have sat on my hands I was aggressive. I suppose this is part of the process, but damn - it really pisses me off that I can't just stick to my plan.

In terms of my structured trades, this has been just a terrible week. I realize that these things will happen, not every day is going to be a big winner.

I suppose I achieved my goal today, even though it really doesn't feel like I did. I can't seem to buy a trade that runs in my favor at the moment. I suppose this is where I just have to keep plugging away.

I finished - 6 ticks today, again.

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 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
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ES Plan for 9/1

SR Zones I have marked:

81.50 - 82.50 (n/a)
76.75 - 78.0 (?) (n/a)
74.75 - 75.50 (n/a)
67.50 - 68.50 (good)
63.0 - 64.0 (bad)
57.50 - 58.50 (bad)

TOR: 2172.75
VAH: 2172.0
VAL: 2165.0
BOR: 2159.50
ONH: 2177.25
ONL: 2168.25

Morning Update

Running well behind this morning. I get ready to leave to take the kids to school and I have 2 low tires (1 that was patched on Monday), so I have to stop to put air in those which put us behind in the school's car line which took a minute short of forever...ugh.

The overnight range was more expansive than usual and it looks like we will open near yesterdays VAH, but an open within value. It looks like there was a delayed reaction to the jobless claims news from this morning, which is odd. The number came in right around consensus so I'm not sure what the drop was about...it was very small either way.

I will probably not get much of a chance to trade today, especially in the morning, though I will if I am not too busy. I'm clearly getting more comfortable getting into setups, it's just that they have been pretty unclear so far this week. My plans are:

1) I would again prefer a move up off the open and would be aggressive in shorting in the 74.75 - 75.50 zone. I could see price falling short of this area so I would also look to short pVAH at 72.0, though less aggressively. From here I would look for a breakdown through lunch with the market finding support lower before moving back up in the afternoon, as has been the case lately.

2) If we push lower off the open I would be interested in going long in the 67-68 area. I won't be aggressive here, but I would get more aggressive in the 64-65 area. In this case I would expect either the market to stall down here creating a big profile followed by a move up in the afternoon or the market to bounce higher before stalling out below 81.50 or so.

In either event, I really don't see any big moves higher or lower today. The trend is certainly down, and I'd lean that direction early with another late rally.

End of Day Update

Pretty crazy day at work for me so I didn't get to do much trading. I did get a trade in this morning around the 10:00 news that I scalped for +1.0. I actually forgot there was 10:00 news and I put the trade on a bit before. I had a stop in buy I still got lucky and I bailed as soon as I realized my mistake.

I did put a trade on this afternoon; I got a nice bearish divergence close to 68.0; we'd been failing at that level since 12:30. I put a short on at 2166.25 but after 5 minutes I started getting nervous as it wasn't moving down. A few minutes later I messed up and bailed at break even...I knew this was the wrong thing to do but the fear of taking another loss took over and I started finding reasons I should not be in the trade. In short, I didn't follow my plan - this is again what I am always doing.

After exiting for break even I got up and went to the bathroom. When I got back, the trade was a nice winner; it eventually hit my 2R target for +4 points. Of course this happened. My demon again appears and what do I do - absolutely fucking nothing. I closed my DOM, I'm pissed.

My goal is the same thing every day, just take a trade and stay with my plan. I'm not going to count a trade that moves against me and just stops me out toward this because I don't have to really do anything. I just need to stay in a damn trade and follow my plan. So today, I certainly did not achieve my goal.

I ended the day +1 on 2 trades. I ended the day pissed off at myself again. It's back to the mental circle I keep running with myself.

I will give myself a little credit in that I was pretty good at getting into the trades as they were setting up today, particularly the second one. I'm continuing to make progress in this area. I have made at least 1 trade every day this week, and that's out of the norm for me. Today was also a whirlwind as I got to work late and was in meetings for much of the day; I was totally out of sync. This is not why I made an error on my afternoon trade, but I have felt rushed and behind all day.

Tonight I will try to go to bed early and get a good night sleep. I will leave extra early in the morning to drop the kids off at school and do everything I can to be at my desk and ready to go at 8:30 for the jobs report. I'd like to get a good start to the day tomorrow and not be behind all damn day.


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 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
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ES Plan for 9/2

SR Zones I have marked:

81.50-82.50
76.50-77.75
71.50-72.75
67.75-69.0
50.0-52.50

TOR: 2172.25
VAH: 2170.50
VAL: 2161.75
BOR: 2154.75
ONH: 2175.0 (could move higher)
ONL: 2164.75

Very odd reaction to the NFP miss this morning. Given the miss I would have expected an impulse move lower but we went up. Maybe the miss means a lower chance of a September rate hike (?). Either way, I don't trust the move up.

At this point it looks like we will be opening above pVAH and pHOD, or at least close to that area. This would signal a possible trend up day, so buying any early dip would be the way to go.

Weekly highs and lows are most likely to occur on Friday, with Monday being next. If we are to make a new weekly high today we'd need to hit 82.50. I see 75.0 as the line which needs to break and hold to the upside if we've got a chance at 82.50 today. If we can't get over 75.0 then I think we could be headed lower or headed for a range day.

My plan:

1) I will be watching 75.0 in the pre-market. If we test and fail in this area I will be less bullish for the day and will look to sell moves higher.

2) If we can break 75.0 and hold there I will look to buy dips and will be expecting a range day higher. I will look at 82.50 as a potential target.

Goal for today: The usual, get into a trade and stay in according to my plan, no matter how uncomfortable I get.

End of Day Update

Not much to trade today, which is a little frustrating given the fact the market moved a good deal. Everything seemed like it was in slow motion today...tough day for me to trade.

I came really close to shorting 82.50 this morning. I was getting a bearish divergence around 10:00 but the divergence wasn't that strong and the market was really moving up off the NFP so I was skeptical that a short would work here. The hardest trades are the most profitable ones, the easy ones are losers; this is how my week has gone. I skipped the trade at what was about a point below the HOD.

I got a lot more divergences later in the morning but the range was just too tight to justify putting a trade on. The market was moving a bit during lunch, and I don't normally trade during this time but since the market was active I did. I put a short on after the bounce off the volume low at 72.50, looking for a test of that low. I was pretty cautious as the market was moving up, and I thought that might be the bottom, and there's no guarantee of a retest. Price moved in my favor 4-5 ticks and I moved my stop to break even as the trade had gone on for a while without doing much. I stopped out for break even on that one, which was fine.

I went short again at 14:47. I recognized that the market was moving up from a failed retest of the lows, and I recognized that the setup I was eyeing was a lot like Tuesday's market in that we were moving up the the afternoon - I went short there and stopped out for a loss too. However, this is Friday and not Tuesday and just because a setup didn't work on Tuesday doesn't mean it wont work on Friday - this is what I thought. I was getting bearish price divergences and price was up against VWAP and a SR zone I had marked. Additionally, price had already failed several times at this area earlier in the day, so despite the bullish market I had a lot of reasons to believe a short would work here. I put the trade on and waited and watched. I had a few chances to cut my loss pretty close to break even but I told myself not to. Time and sales was very bullish with a lot of big buying, but I held on - I didn't want to find a way to talk myself out of the trade. In the end, I got stopped out for a 6 tick loss.



I still cannot decide if I'm glad or mad that I took this trade. Part of me knew the market was moving up and that this was too much like Tuesday, but the other part of me kept saying that I have to trade my setups and my plan. This week, at least, it seems like when I listen to my logical side I lose money - and that's frustrating. This week has been pretty crappy from that standpoint.

I can say that I did hit my goal today; I got in and out of some trades well. But I STILL have not been able to get into a trade that is or would be profitable. At this point I'm wondering what in the hell I actually have to do to get into a trade that might make a little money because there were a grand total of 0 this week.

I'm very glad it's a 3 day weekend because I need the extra day off, it's been a rough week for me honestly.

I took 2 trades today, for a break even exit and one for a 6 tick loss. Total on the day -1.5 points.

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 Comeback King 
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Weekly Review for 8/29 - 9/2

Negatives for the week:
1. I made a trade outside of my plan which lost money
2. I lost money.
3. I micromanaged a trade and exited early, costing me 4 points.

Positives for the week:
1. I got into at least 1 trade each day.
2. I cut down on the number of error trades. Last week 83% of my trades were error trades, this week the percentage dropped to 25%.
3. I continued to practice a morning routine which is helping greatly. I continued to meditate twice before the open, which was helpful.
4. I feel more calm in the morning and not as rushed. I still wish I had more time in the morning to prepare but this is impossible, so I'm making the most out of the time that I have available.
5. I felt very comfortable putting orders into my DOM to get into trades. I've not felt this comfortable with this before. Actually, comfortable isn't 100% accurate, I don't feel much emotion at all placing orders where before I had a lot of anxiety.
6. #5 is surprising as I had a grand total of 0 winners this week. So, even though I keep making trades that get stopped out, I keep feeling non-emotional putting trades on. Deep down I know that eventually I'll start getting them right.
7. I kept my stop losses small, so having a 0% win rate didn't get me killed.

Trades for the week: 8
Points for the week: -3.25

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 Inletcap 
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Comeback King View Post
Weekly Review for 8/29 - 9/2

Negatives for the week:
1. I made a trade outside of my plan which lost money
2. I lost money.
3. I micromanaged a trade and exited early, costing me 4 points.

Positives for the week:
1. I got into at least 1 trade each day.
2. I cut down on the number of error trades. Last week 83% of my trades were error trades, this week the percentage dropped to 25%.
3. I continued to practice a morning routine which is helping greatly. I continued to meditate twice before the open, which was helpful.
4. I feel more calm in the morning and not as rushed. I still wish I had more time in the morning to prepare but this is impossible, so I'm making the most out of the time that I have available.
5. I felt very comfortable putting orders into my DOM to get into trades. I've not felt this comfortable with this before. Actually, comfortable isn't 100% accurate, I don't feel much emotion at all placing orders where before I had a lot of anxiety.
6. #5 is surprising as I had a grand total of 0 winners this week. So, even though I keep making trades that get stopped out, I keep feeling non-emotional putting trades on. Deep down I know that eventually I'll start getting them right.
7. I kept my stop losses small, so having a 0% win rate didn't get me killed.

Trades for the week: 8
Points for the week: -3.25

Don't take your first trade on Monday and use the $100 to get an elite membership! I promise you won't regret it. There is so much content and so many people that will help you ( FYI- I hve zero interest in the site but I see you putting forth the effort). Guys were just commenting in The Scalpers Journey thread how far so many have come from being daily losers to consistently profitable traders who truly get it.

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 Comeback King 
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ES Plan for 9/6

SR Zones I have marked:

84.50 - 86.0 (not tested)
80.50 - 82.0 (good - sort of)
76.25 - 77.50 (good)
71.0 - 72.25 (not tested)
64.25 - 65.50 (not tested)
59.25 - 60.50 (not tested)

TOR: 2183.75
VAH: 2180.75
VAL: 2175.25
BOR: 2171.75
ONH: 2181.50
ONL: 2178.75

The market looks to be opening in value and in range. I have R marked starting at 2180.50 and S starting at 2177.50. I'm going to sit on my hands a bit off the open since we are opening within this chop zone. There's a lack of news today so the market might have a hard time moving out of range.

My plan for today:

1. I will be keeping an eye on the 84.50 area. I will look to fade anything that gets in this area unless it's a very strong reaction. If we break 86.0 and hold I will be very bullish. I will generally look to fade prices in this zone.

2. Overall the market looks bullish, so I would prefer buying dips today. My first support level is at 76.25 - 77.50 so I would like to see this area hold prices. If this area is unable to do so, I also like the next level down at 71.0 - 72.25; I would mark this as a major SR zone, so if we get to this area I would definitely look for a bounce and will be a fairly aggressive buyer.

My goal today is pretty much the same as it is every day. I did a TON of reading and research over the long weekend, looking back at all of my charts and I feel very confident going into this week.

End of Day Update/Thoughts

This is September - right? The month the market wakes up.

Choppy day today. I saw 2 good setups and got into 1. I scalped out for a tick but the plan would have been to hold for 1R, which the trade ended up doing for a +1.75 winner. Again, an error trade that cost me money.

The 2nd setup was later in the afternoon, a pretty good RSX bearish divergence at the midday high of 83.50. I paper traded this one, which lasted the rest of the day pretty much; a 1.5 hit on the 1st half and break even on the second. I was stalking this trade and was definitely considering entering it when I saw a tweet from FT71 about the market going to 86.0. That spooked me out of the trade. I really just need to focus on my chart and plan and stop listening to other stuff.

I did not achieve my goal. I did not meditate before the open, I was all out of sorts because of having Monday off. I was super busy at work, trying to do 2 days worth of work in 1 and trading the market - I was not focused like I should have been.

I did end the day up a tick, for what it's worth. I also was in a trade that was going my way; I could have used that as the test I have been wanting to see if I could hold it to my 1st profit target - actually that was the test I've been waiting for. I failed, plain and simple.

I put in a lot of technical work in over the weekend but not much mental work. Tonight will be a little technical work and a lot of mental work, then back at it tomorrow. The struggle continues.

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 Comeback King 
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ES Plan for 9/7

SR Zones I have marked:

88.0 - 89.50 (untested)
83.50 - 85.0 (Good)
78.75 - 79.50 (Good)
76.50 - 77.50 (Good)
71.0 - 72.75 (untested)
64.50 - 65.50 (untested)

TOR: 2186.25 (hit)
BOR: 2173.0 (missed)

VAH: 2183.50
VAL: 2176.25

ONH: 2186.25 (hit)
ONL: 2181.25 (hit)

It looks like we will open in value or perhaps slightly over; this would give the higher probability of a range bound day absent market changing news. There are a few news releases this morning, but none are generally market movers. Ester is speaking at 10:00, so I'll be cautious around this time.

I have an SR zone starting at 83.50 and it's possible we will open within this zone or just under it. Looking at the statistics of the ONH/ONL being taken out during RTH (95.7% chance), I not going to be super aggressive in shorting in this area off the open unless we take out 81.25 first.

My plan:

1. I'm going to sit and be patient off the open. If we dip first I will be looking at the 79.50 area for support and buy in this area. I would expect a bounce to the 83.50-85.0 area from here and will trade accordingly.

2. If we move up off the open I'll be cautious and will keep a close eye on the 88 - 89.50 area if we get that far. I don't expect a lot of follow through today so I'll generally look to fade a move higher, but won't do so quickly.

3. If we have a big move after 10:00 on news then I will be more cautious about fading the market; I will have to read my SR zones and look for good setups. I don't expect this to happen, but I do think I need to plan for it.

Goal today: I can't logically figure out why the hell I care so much about my P&L. The money in my trading account is extra and if I blow it up I can just re-fund it. I have a surplus of money each month from my job minus expenses so it's really no big deal. I can't figure out why I can't just let it go, except for the fact that most people have the same issue starting out.

So, today my goal is to not five a f*ck. Just trade the plan because it works and I've got the stats to prove it.

Mid Day Update

Pretty hard market for me to read today. I got a few bearish divergences this morning, one at 10:10 and another at 10:31. These were valid signals but I had support marked at 2185. The 10:10 divergence was a bit under this support level but also came after a huge volume spike. The 10:31 short possibility was not far above this support level that had been holding. I don't feel good about trading an area like this with mixed signals, I'd prefer to take something that's clear so I skipped these.

After the market pulled back I had a good entry on the long side at 11:51, we were bouncing off support I had marked at 79.50 and I got a bullish RSX divergence. I took the trade and it started working for me. At 12:05 we got a pretty big TICK and price spike and I really considered exiting at that point for a 5 tick gain. This was pretty far short of my 1st target however, and such an exit is not a part of my current plan. When I get to the point of trading several contracts, I would take partial profits on such an occurrence, but not at this point. So...I stuck with the trade. I did move my stop up to break even as per my plan and I stopped out at break even. So, I did pretty well on this trade.

The market at the moment is forming an ascending triangle. This is the same pattern that stopped me out of 2 trades last week; trying to short an ascending triangle. The market is starting to flat line here, maybe in anticipation of the beige book report at 14:00. I do know that I'm not keen to short into this pattern today; I'd rather buy a break and a pullback. We have had an above average range expansion so far so I would not be shocked if we have seen the LOD at this point. Here's the chart from my trade at 11:51:



End of Day Update

1 trade today (above) and 1 setup today. I am overall pleased with my 1 trade, and I'm more please with the trades I didn't make. I did have an order in to go long at 2179.50 but I didn't get filled. The market ran pretty quick from this area and there wasn't anything I could do.

I had a couple of possible entries early on this morning, as stated above, but they were sketchy based on support nearby. I avoided trying to short into the afternoon trend even though I was getting plenty of signals to do so. By the time a lot of my short signals were flashing it seemed that the market had put in a bottom for the day. The bottom wasn't too obvious on a 1-minute chart but a little more clear on a 5-minute chart; there's a nice hammer at 12:25. The only thing I didn't trust is the lack of relative volume that came with the bottom, 22K on a 5 minute candle.

Knowing a bottom is in (or at least thinking one is probably in) and making a trade based on that information are two different things. I did try to get long at 13:23 but I didn't get a fill. I could have been more aggressive and chased the price, but that's not something that I'm comfortable with. I'd rather set my price than getting in the habit of chasing something. While chasing the price would have worked this particular time, I don't think I would have a positive expectancy if I were to adopt this habit.

I mentioned here at 13:45 that I like the idea of waiting for price to break the ascending triangle pattern it was in and buying a pullback to that area. We actually got that break a few minutes after I posted but the break was pretty weak and got jammed up at the mid and VWAP and the 600 SMA. So, buying that first pullback seemed too risky as we were in between a tight area of support below and resistance above. There was a pullback to this zone at 14:37. I'm not sure that I saw this in real time. Looking back at it, it looks like a pretty nice trade.

The rest of the afternoon there were more opportunities to get short than there were to get long, at least from my setups. But...I knew that the short side was the wrong side unless we broke the uptrend/channel.

I did hit my goal today of trading my plan on a trade. I did get a chance to close it out at a small profit but stuck with it, right or wrong, as I have it written in my plan. Even though today it would have been better for me to scalp the trade for 4 or 5 ticks, I know that long term I'm better off holding it and sticking to my written plan. I don't feel bad that I made the choice I did; I'm not concerned about the 4 or 5 ticks I missed out on because I'm much better off having stuck with the trade and stuck with my plan. At some point in the future I might scale out based on the circumstances I saw when I was in the trade, but that's not what my plan is today - I'm not there yet. However, by sticking to my plan I will definitely get there in time.


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 rocksolid68 
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End of Day Update/Thoughts

This is September - right? The month the market wakes up.

Choppy day today. I saw 2 good setups and got into 1. I scalped out for a tick but the plan would have been to hold for 1R, which the trade ended up doing for a +1.75 winner. Again, an error trade that cost me money.

The 2nd setup was later in the afternoon, a pretty good RSX bearish divergence at the midday high of 83.50. I paper traded this one, which lasted the rest of the day pretty much; a 1.5 hit on the 1st half and break even on the second. I was stalking this trade and was definitely considering entering it when I saw a tweet from FT71 about the market going to 86.0. That spooked me out of the trade. I really just need to focus on my chart and plan and stop listening to other stuff.

I did not achieve my goal. I did not meditate before the open, I was all out of sorts because of having Monday off. I was super busy at work, trying to do 2 days worth of work in 1 and trading the market - I was not focused like I should have been.

I did end the day up a tick, for what it's worth. I also was in a trade that was going my way; I could have used that as the test I have been wanting to see if I could hold it to my 1st profit target - actually that was the test I've been waiting for. I failed, plain and simple.

I put in a lot of technical work in over the weekend but not much mental work. Tonight will be a little technical work and a lot of mental work, then back at it tomorrow. The struggle continues.


I don't know about you, but does the market being range-bound or trending mean anything when you are taking 1-tick profit? Coming from a fellow trader, do not blame the market. It is just an excuse. Same with blaming anything for that matter.

Having to catch up on work? What does that have to do with you not taking your "winning" trade all the way to its target? Nothing.

I am not trying to be brash, but so many people get stuck in making excuses rather than fixing what they need to fix.

Flattening because some guy on the internet thought the market was going higher? If I tweet the opposite of every trade you take, will you always flatten? He has no more knowledge on the future than you, so don't take his words as cannon.

Read the book "Super Forecasters" before you give anyone's forecast merit. Take what they say into mind, but not with out being critical of why they say it.

I am only trying to help. If I sugar coat all of this, you would not get the point. So, try to understand why I am saying this.

You will not ever succeed if you blame the blueness of the sky for your losing trade.

You put a lot of work in your journal, now put it in to your trading.

Good luck, my friend.

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 Comeback King 
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rocksolid68 View Post
I don't know about you, but does the market being range-bound or trending mean anything when you are taking 1-tick profit? Coming from a fellow trader, do not blame the market. It is just an excuse. Same with blaming anything for that matter.

Having to catch up on work? What does that have to do with you not taking your "winning" trade all the way to its target? Nothing.

I am not trying to be brash, but so many people get stuck in making excuses rather than fixing what they need to fix.

Flattening because some guy on the internet thought the market was going higher? If I tweet the opposite of every trade you take, will you always flatten? He has no more knowledge on the future than you, so don't take his words as cannon.

Read the book "Super Forecasters" before you give anyone's forecast merit. Take what they say into mind, but not with out being critical of why they say it.

I am only trying to help. If I sugar coat all of this, you would not get the point. So, try to understand why I am saying this.

You will not ever succeed if you blame the blueness of the sky for your losing trade.

You put a lot of work in your journal, now put it in to your trading.

Good luck, my friend.

Thanks for commenting. I'm definitely aware that my error trades come from me, not from the market. I would have thought the market would open up a bit, but even in the tight range, I had 2 valid trades that were profitable - if I'd only stuck to my plan.

The only person responsible for me trading my plan is me, and the only person responsible for me not trading my plan is me.

Thanks for following and reading and offering the comment; I definitely appreciate it. I'll check out the book you suggested as well. I'm still going to get an Elite membership, but I want to do so when I have the time to dedicate to reading through all of the information there over a weekend, so perhaps this weekend I will join. I've got so many things that need work, so many things that I have lined up to do that I've got to prioritize the list in my queue.

Again, thanks.

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 Comeback King 
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ES Plan for 9/8

SR Zones I have marked:

88.0 - 89.50
83.25 - 84.25
78.75 - 79.75
76.25 - 77.25
71.0 - 72.75
64.50 - 65.50

TOR: 2186.75
BOR: 2177.50

VAH: 2185.50
VAL: 2181.25

ONH: 2189.25
ONL: 2181.50 (for now)

Looks like a normal D type distribution although I suppose an odd P can be seen as well with a very narrow value area. The bottom was tested and rejected in what looks like an inverted H&S pattern.

Looking at this right now including the last several weeks, we've got a pretty bullish look going on. I would not be surprised if we re-tested the all time highs pretty soon, maybe on Friday. If we open above value tomorrow I think we could see some nice moves. I'll put together my plan in the morning.

As I write this we're making new overnight/premarket lows on ES after the ECB announcement. When I woke up this morning and peeked at the market, we were between 86 and 87 and it looked like we might open above value and pHi. It seems now that there is little chance of that happening.

While this selloff isn't huge it is notable given the context of the market in this moment. Taking out the FOMC Jackson Hole meeting we've been averaging a RTH range of just over 10 points since 8/1. We've now moved about 6 points in the last 15 minutes in premarket - that's significant to me.

It's difficult to make a plan with 40 minutes until the open given the price action here. This type of price action seems to be driven by a fundamental market change and those moves are always more powerful. Of course, I would not be shocked if this drop is shrugged off and the market moves higher today anyway.

My plan:

1) If we open in value, I will again be cautious and look to fade extremes. Given the premarket movement that is being driven by the ECB announcement, I will not rush into fading anything without a grade A setup; price action confirmed by an SR zone confirmed by an RSX divergence. As the market settles I will adjust my approach.

2) If we open below value and below pLo I will lean bearish and look to short pops. If we open below value but above pLo I will be inclined to think that the pLo will be taken out and will look to short any pop into that area, but I won't be as bearish on the day as a whole. In this scenario I think we could hold lower before an afternoon rally, which has been the norm as of late.

I was listening to a podcast this morning featuring a person named "Rob" from Discovery Trader. He's been trading since the 80's. He was talking about managing risk and emotion and said, "being a trader in general...is about managing discomfort, and it never gets any easier. I've been doing this a long time and I'm never comfortable being in a trade, I'm never like 'oh, I've got this licked - I'm going to win this; I've got this. I'm always nervous, I'm always skeptical I'm always thinking I'm early or I'm late or I'm not making the right decision...it's just something you have to settle in with."

I've listened to this podcast a few times before and I love that bit. I'm very uncomfortable in trades and it's good to be reminded that it's not just me being odd - most good traders, professionals, are uncomfortable. It's learning to cope with this discomfort that determines success or failure, provided you have an edge.

My goal today is to manage my discomfort - as it always is. I aim to do this on at least 1 trade. I was successful with this yesterday, and I can feel and see that I'm making progress. I also understand that progress is not linear, that I will have setbacks and will need to learn from them. But today, no setbacks.

Afternoon Update

Made several trades today; all were break even. Yesterday the market was very difficult for me to read/trade. I reviewed my charts yesterday evening as I normally do and things were a bit more clear, but still there were no real areas of entry that I missed live. Today the market was even more difficult for me to read and trade. I did take the trades that were offered based on my plan, and for the most part I held them as long as my plan called for (I did bail a little early on 1, but the others I held). My last trade I took at 15:24, very close to my 15:30 cutoff. I held it while taking some heat and held it after it turned profitable. I was of course tempted to scalp a few ticks but I held the trade for my target area. I thought this one would have a good chance as the market was coming off an area where it was rallying and we've been having some nice afternoon rallies lately into the close. So, holding the trade was not only part of my plan but I thought also made good sense based on the context of the market at the time as well as the tendency to rally to close of late. I did move my stop to BE to protect my position, as my plan calls for. I eventually stopped out for break even on that trade as the market could not find buyers to lift it into the close; the 81-82 area proved too tough.

I'm pretty unsure what to do about tomorrow as I'm not sure how to use SR levels on a rolling contract at this point. I'm likely to sit on the sidelines tomorrow and let things wash out a bit. I'll still look to play price divergences that I see but will be cautious on those in case we area around an SR zone.

My goal for today was achieved. I was aggressive in getting into trades, but not to the point of chasing or being impatient. My P&L didn't reflect good trading today, and in hindsight I would have been better off scalping ticks on my trades rather than waiting for targets; even though my targets were very modest, 1.5 - 2.0 points. I do realize that there will be times when my trading plan is not in sync with market conditions. During those times, if I scratch my trades instead of getting them stopped out, I'm a little ahead. So while my P&L does not show good trading, my spreadsheet I use to track both the setups and my trades does, and that's the more important part. So today I'm feeling pretty good about how I traded even though my pockets are empty.

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 Comeback King 
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ES Plan for 9/9:

SR Zones I have marked:

76.0 - 77.25
69.25 - 70.25
62.75 - 63.75
60.25 - 61.25

TOR: 2177.25
BOR: 2169.25

VAH: 2174.50
VAL: 2171.25

ONH: 2171.75
ONL: 2157.50


With the contract rollover I really don't feel 100% comfortable using the SR zones that I have; I think they're probably good but I don't have the confidence level that I had on the U contract just yet. I see the market has moved sharply lower overnight and this morning, and we will open below value and below pRange. Based on the size of the gap there is a > 95% chance we do not close the gap today (hitting pClose). Given that, I'll be looking to fade bounces today and looking at my bottom SR zone as the first level but will be very cautious. I don't believe I will be trading around the open unless there is something that really stands out. My expectation is that the market either rallies and fails or the market has made it's movement overnight and will be mostly flat today.

My plan:

1) I will look to fade any pops starting at 2160.25. I'm not very confident about this area so I'll approach trades here with caution; I'm not just going to place a limit order and let it ride. I like the 2163 area a lot better for a short spot.

2) If we happen to move lower early I would expect some chop with a possible short-lived move higher. I won't rule out a long trade in the late morning or early afternoon if I see it.

3) If we happen to rally hard off the open and hold levels higher I will be thinking that we could trade up into yesterdays value area. I think this would be more of a grind higher type of move. Given the economic news out of Europe, I think this is unlikely but I'll still pay attention to this possibility. If we're grinding up, I'll be hesitant to place a trade.

Overall the market seems to be moving on news, so the perception of value has changed. Over the last month or so, most of the movement has come premarket and overnight leaving the RTH to be dull. I'll keep this in mind as I watch the ticks today.

Mid Day Update

Not good so far. I've had a few trade opportunities that I have passed up, probably because I was scared of stopping out though I'm not 100% sure. I do know that my usual morning routine was not there today and replaced with total chaos prior to the open, so I didn't have a chance to stop, focus, meditate, etc. I'm not saying that's an excuse or anything as the trades were there but perhaps there's something to that. Rather than just rushing into the market at the open, I should have stopped for 5-10 minutes and gone through my usual routine and just missed part of the open. Next time.

I also took a trade that's not part of my written plan but that I'm pretty comfortable with at 10:42, just after the impulse move to a new low. I didn't see any indication of a bottom here so fading the small pop is usually pretty good, low risk. I got into the trade well, within 2 ticks of the top but didn't follow my time stop and bailed too soon. That error cost me 2 points (1R trade).

Overall today, including bailing too soon on the trade I was in, I'm down 5.75 today on errors (even though my P&L is flat). Not a great way to end the week really.

I'm leaving for a bit to have lunch with Ms. CK. Perhaps I'll be able to recharge and come back for the afternoon session with a bit more focus. Maybe she can bring me a spine as well, mine's gone missing today.



End of Day Update

Getting away from the screen for a bit was good, had a nice lunch and a walk around a botanical garden. I took a few trades in the afternoon, not the exact setups in my plan but good ones based on the day we're having - shorting lower highs when I saw momentum fading. Overall I was pleased with how my trading in the afternoon went; I got into entries well but did get really anxious getting out. I really, really need to work more on that part of my trading. I have the tools in front of me it's just I've not used them. I do feel a lot better about my entries this week as compared to weeks prior, and I'm getting into them more easily - at least in spurts. I'm pleased with the progress I've made this week; I don't expect to be past all of my bad habits in one week...I'm just looking for progress.

An example of one of the trades I took in the afternoon at 15:04, shorted a lower high once momentum was going away. I'll also note that I had A TON of bullish divergences with price and my RSX indicator, most of which would have stopped out for losses. I'm pleased that I'm not just trading my indicator with blinders on, I'm looking at the overall context of the market and using that as a tool, not a method in and of itself.


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 Comeback King 
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Weekly Review for 9/5 - 9/9

Negatives for the week:
1. I bailed on trades too early
2. I did not follow my morning routine on 50% of the days this week.
3. I have tools set up and available to use to help me help myself stay in a trade, but I failed to use them.

Positives for the week:
1. I got into trades without hesitation on most days.
2. I recovered on Friday from a really terrible morning and did better in the afternoon.
3. I recognized my errors as they were happening.
4. For the second week running I traded each day of the week. I have now made trades for 9 days in a row, which record for me.

Progress is not linear; few things in life are. With progress comes setbacks. As I sit back and reflect I often try to relate what I'm doing to my powerlifting days. Some days I felt like I could pull all the weight in the gym and other days I could just not get my technique down and pulled like shit. Some days I felt tired yet had great squat sessions while other days I was jacked and squatted like a little girl.

I suppose trading is a little bit like that as well. Some days I'm going to do a lot of things right while other days I'm going to do a lot of things wrong. In powerlifting, the weight on the bar didn't increase in a linear fashion; there came a point where it was add a few pounds then back down, then add a few more than back down. This is pretty much what happened with my trading this week. Honestly, it started off bad as I made too many errors and was not focused like I should be on Tuesday. The week got better and at the end I can see that I did make more progress. I got a case of the yips this morning but I corrected that by the afternoon. I also didn't do anything stupid, so that's a plus as well.

I have a lot of thinking and reflecting to do over the weekend as well as some chart study. I definitely need to ask myself some questions about why I'm not able to be patient in a trade. I am definitely committed to getting over this hurdle and I'm not going to stop working.

One thing that really helped this week was a new kind of nightly chart review I started. Each night I took the last 4 weeks of charts and spread them on the floor in a circle around me. I then just started looking at them and studying them all together and separately. I felt very confident each night after doing this. I suck at getting up in the morning, but I will make an effort to do this next week both at night and in the morning before everyone else wakes up and the morning hurricane begins. I think doing this premarket will give me a bit of a mental boost coming into the trading day.

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 Comeback King 
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ES Plan for 9/12

SR Zones I have marked:

Composite/Support
11.75 - 14.0
06.0 - 08.0
01.0 - 03.3
78.50 - 81.0

Friday/Resistance
52.75 - 54.75
49.25 - 50.25
43.50 - 45.25
38.25 - 40.25
34.50 - 36.50
26.25 - 27.75
22.25 - 24.25
18.75 - 20.0

pHi: 2158.0
pLo: 2115.50
pCl:2116.50

VAH: 2149.25
VAL: 2115.75

ONH: 2115.50 (so far)
ONL: 2100.25

We're at the top of a pretty think volume area (June/July) from here to 2001/00. I see a few possibilities happening from here, and I'll look to trade these stories; at least for Monday - I could be totally off and have to reassess after the close Monday. I don't see a great deal of early week domestic news until Thursday and Friday, so I don't think there will be major drivers until at least then.

1) The market is still valued as too high and prices are pushed lower. As we're moving into an area of thick volume, if we do move lower I expect it to be difficult as there will be buyers. I could see dropping to 2001 and even testing below but I think that would be a tough ask on Monday. If the market is moving lower on Monday I would favor buying dips for a bounce as I don't see downside without bulls stepping in; certainly no free fall like Friday.

2) It's possible that the market has found value in this area. We are at the top of an area where we spent a bit of time in June in a 12-14 point range. If this is the case, I would expect to see the market test both up and down but remain in a fairly tight range, perhaps within 15 points or so. The only real difference I see between this scenario and the above one is that there will be more aggressive tests higher.

3) I suppose it's likely that Friday's move was technically driven and not a reflection of a change in value. In this case we would move higher quite quickly; perhaps not as fast as we moved down Friday, but there would be a few days where we would generally trend higher. If this were to play out I would expect resistance levels to be brushed aside quite easily, with prices perhaps pausing or reversing slightly before moving through. I don't think this is likely but it's something that I will be watching for. I think if we were to move higher, the market would need to probe lower first, get some sucker shorts and then blast off.

Those are my thoughts on Sunday afternoon. I'll develop a more specific plan on Monday morning, but it will be much the same unless the overnight/premarket action is heavy.

I'm a little surprised by the Sunday night/Monday morning downside movement, I was expecting some difficulty moving through this range. The market looks to be rallying in the premarket as we're getting close to the ONH level. Given the overnight downside it seems likely that this would be retested during RTH today. It does look like we will gap down off the open by 4-6 points. A 4 point gap down is left unfilled 72% of the time so I will be leaning bearish today unless the gap is filled and held with conviction. We've got a lot of resistance points above so tests higher should be met with selling.

Today's plan:

1) Be a seller of rallies. I have many potential resistance zones marked and I will be interested in them starting at the 12-14 area. I really like the idea of selling the OHN off the open. Below say 2098 there's not much activity down to the 78 zone, so if we hold below 2098 I would anticipate downside into the 78 area. I will be watching this today for a short opportunity.

2) Expect chop. If selling is met with aggressive buying and we can't seem to break support levels, I think we could be in for some chop. Big moves are often followed by a period of consolidation and I think we could see this today, but I won't be banking on it. If dips are being bought, I will be looking for a more choppy day. I think the area between 2101 and 2098 is pretty key to hold and for the bulls to defend. If I see this happening, I would consider buying support zones.

My goal for today is to follow my plan. I don't want to make a goal of 1 or 2 trades where I follow my plan 100%. This would be fine if there were only 1 or 2 valid trades today, but what if there are 10? Following 1 out of 10 valid trades is pretty terrible, so I just need to follow my plan. I will say that I should execute my plan more often than I don't today. I put in a lot of work both with charts and in thinking, reading, meditating this weekend and I feel very prepared this morning.

End of Day Update

Pretty disappointed with myself today. Going into the open I was pretty bearish based on the open below pLo. However, price was trading above VWAP and VWAP was above the 600 SMA, and that extended quickly after the open which for me is a very bullish sign. So, bearish sign + bullish sign = neutral. However, I stayed bearish. I took a few swings at shorts early on and got stopped out on both as the market was not having any trouble getting through resistance areas. I did recognize after this that I really need to be careful with shorts as the market was flying. At the same time, I could not get a good entry long without feeling like I was probably buying the top. I saw a few good entry points late morning and early afternoon and had orders in but they never got hit; the market just moved so fast after I was able to detect a good spot to get long. Not wanting to chase the market higher I just sat back and waited for the next one.

I really hate this but I found a spot I liked at 14:35 and got long at 2149.50 at 14:36. I got a reversal on my RSX indicator and we were at the bottom of a SR zone I had so I thought is was a nice spot. I stayed in the trade for about a minute, we got a reversal candle and I thought, "What the heck are you doing going long up here?" and exited for a tick. Naturally, about 2 minutes later the market goes to 2154.0, well past my target.

Some days I feel like I have a pretty good read on what the market is doing; today was not one of those days. I really let my bearish bias impact my decision making, and I know my stop outs were sitting in the back of my mind when I did get long later in the day. I really hate that today played out the way that it did because I should have been able to recognize what was occurring much earlier - I mean it was sitting right there in front of me. I'm not particularly bothered about missing entries because I didn't chase the market. I can't believe I bailed on my would be profitable trade so soon - again. I just can't seem to get past this. I was pretty confident coming into today and I think I had a nice plan.

I have the tools in front of me and on paper to be able to conquer this. I know that I have the ability to, I'm just not using my discipline and letting my fear get the best of me. This ends up costing me time and money and at some point I have to decide that enough is enough and just manage the pain; I have to be tired of this self-sabotage before it's too late. The more I bail from trades early for no good reason the harder this habit is going to be to break.

I did not achieve my goal today and I ended up down 15 ticks.

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 Comeback King 
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ES Plan for 9/13

SR Zones I have marked:

71.25 - 73.25
65.0 - 66.0
53.25 - 55.0
43.50 - 45.25
37.75 - 40.25
34.25 - 36.75
26.0 - 27.0
18.50 - 20.25
13.75 - 15.25
05.75 - 07.75


pHi: 2156.0
pLo: 2110.50
pCl:2151.0

VAH: 2156.0
VAL: 2120.75

ONH: 2151.50
ONL: 2134.25 (so far)

The market ripped today and given the tail I'd expect it to retrace and retest lower tomorrow. I certainly don't expect another big up day again at this point (that might change in the morning). My two scenarios at 16:37 are either chop or or retesting lower.

Morning Update, 8:42AM

Not shockingly we will open within yesterdays value area. I don't (or can't find) statistics on how often pVAL/pVAH is hit during the next day's RTH but I suspect it's quite high, though given the context I don't know how useful such a thing would be today.

After two big trend days that market might be ready to settle down today. My take is that buyers and sellers have struggled to find value over the last 2 trading days and I won't be surprised if that continues at least off the open. While I don't expect another trend day, I will be looking for high volatility and sharp moves this morning. I think it's quite possible for the market to settle in later in the morning or in the afternoon. With this in mind, I will be more cautious off the open so as to not get caught in a rip current. In general though I think fading extremes might be the way to go today, again dependent on price action.

My plan:

1) As we're going to open lower I will be looking for continued weakness off the open. I like the idea of buying in the 27 to 25 area for a run back into the 43/45 area. This idea is contingent on the market pushing lower first, before testing the 43/45 area. If we test up first and reject in the 43/45 zone I will favor the downside until proven otherwise.

2) If we move up off the open I will be watching the 43/45 area. If we cannot get above this zone, I think this sets up for a bearish day and will be looking to short rallies. I do have SR in the 38/40 area as well, and I do think price could bounce off this zone, but the 43/45 is critical to me. If we move up off the open and can't get above 40 then I will see this as bearish as well.

I know that an edge is defined as a mathematical advantage over a series of events. I seem to be taking my trades with the idea that the specific trade I'm in has edge, which it does not. In theory (and from my backtesting and paper trading and some real trading) my method does have an edge, but there are times when I'm stopped out. More often, my profit targets are hit.

So my goal is to just follow my plan for the next 10 trades, period. If I miss an entry because I had trouble seeing it, fine - I'm not going to count that. But I also can't avoid seeing things on purpose. I need to be focused and pay attention and play the next 10 trades I see and follow my plan. If all 10 are stop outs, I will not have a blown account so I'll still be able to trade. I need to do this to just see what will happen and go from there.

End of the Day

I ended down a tick. I got into a lot of trades per my plan but I can't say I did well or not as today was very confusing for me. To quote Tom Dante, I didn't know whether I needed a shit or a haircut. The market would drop 5 points and 3 minutes later it's rallying 7 points. I put a few trades out there but with the speed of the moves today (as well as yesterday) I just can't get a good entry in most cases. Most of my SR zones were leaking prices all over the place and they were mostly meaningless. I was a little off on the 13.75 - 15.25 zone but aside from that it held up okay.

I'll be on the fence as to whether or not I trade tomorrow. If the action is schizophrenic like it was yesterday and today then I'll just stand aside and watch. I was trading around the Brexit stuff and that was pretty wild but to me, this is crazier and just not something I'm comfortable reading/trading.

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 Comeback King 
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ES Plan for 9/14

SR Zones I have marked:

53.50 - 55.0 (*)
48.25 - 50.25
43.50 - 45.25
38.50 - 40.75 (*)
29.75 - 30.75
13.75 - 15.25 (*)
5.75 - 7.75
01 - 03

Major zones marked with an *
I don't feel the other zones are as strong

pHi: 2139.0
pLo: 2112.25
pCl:2122.75

VAH: 2126.25
VAL: 2116.75

ONH: 2129.75
ONL: 2118.50

The action on Monday and Tuesday was nearly impossible for me to trade. I could not get a good read on the market and when I did it was always a minute and 4 points too late. I will be watching the action in the early going to assess what's happening before I decide to trade. If the market is going to put in 3 minute ranges of 5+ points up and down regularly I'll just do something else for the day...it's too stressful trying to figure out what the heck is going on and where to put an entry with a reasonable stop.

Morning Update

The great thing about intraday trading the market is that each day starts new. Even on days where I have had a profit, I've had things I could have done better; I've learned new things. I imagine this process is ongoing and continual as the markets are always evolving.

I added an SR zone at 29.75 - 30.75. There was a big gap between 38.50 and 13.75. I'm not feeling wonderful about this new zone but it's the most logical place in between the two that I see; it could hold up. Price has tested that area overnight and pulled back and there's a bit of an LVN on my composite time frame there, not as deep as I would prefer but that's a much to do with trading on 9/9.

We look set to open at the top of the VAH or slightly over. We had a slight miss on import/export prices at 8:30 but not by much and that's not normally a big market mover. We do have petroleum status at 10:30 that I'll be conscious of, that can be a market mover at times; if nothing else causing a temporary price distortion.

So we are opening near VAH from 9/13 and in the thick of volume on a shorter composite time frame. I'm expecting today to settle a bit today into a more normal auction. If I see wild price swings early and an ultra-thin book, I'll stand aside until things start making sense. We had a pretty thin book on Monday and last Friday but the price swings were not nearly as wild as yesterday. I don't mind the thinner book as much as I mind the price spikes; I also understand the thin book creates conditions where while price swings can occur.

My plan:

1) If we open up and move through the 30.75 I'll be watching to see if we can hold that area. If we can, we could start moving higher. Targets would be in the 39 to 43.50 area. If I see strength early I will look to the buying side of things.

2) If we move lower off the open I will look for buyers to become active. We could well move down to the 13.75 - 15.25 zone before this happens, but I would not be shocked if it happens before that. I like the idea of getting long on an initial series of moves lower, where is the question. If we get to the 13.75 area I'll be more interested. If we don't, I'll have to see if something else sets up, but I'll be cautious and patient. Potential targets in this case would be 26.25 to 29.75 initially.

3) If we move higher first and reject around the 29.75 - 30.75 area I will likely put my bear hat on. If we can't move through 30.75 and hold above this zone I will look to short a nice bounce at some point today. I will be PATIENT and wait for the right opportunity. My initial target in this scenario would the SR zone at 15.25. If this is lost I think things could get ugly down to 5.75/7.75.

Yesterday I seriously overtraded in a market I should not have been participating in. My trading game is such a delicate balance, a dish that needs just the right amount of each ingredient. If I add too much spice, it's inedible. Yesterday I added waaay too much spice. While I need to be aggressive when I see a good entry into the market, I need to be patiently aggressive and TRADE MY OWN PLAN. Once in the trade I need to accept the risk, accept that it's a 50/50 proposition at best and just swallow and embrace the discomfort and pain that comes with having risk on.

My goal today is to be patiently aggressive. Stick to my structured plan. Don't take any speculative trades outside of my narrow view of what I'm looking for. Once/if I see an entry that fits into my plan, take it and ride it out. No matter what I do today, I won't blow up my account - as long as I stick to trades that fit my plan.

9:50 AM

Looks like #2 is starting to play out. Bias is bearish at this moment. Order book is pretty thing but price is isn't jumping around as much as yesterday. We just took out the ONL, so that stat is done. Only 25% do we take out BOTH the ONH and ONL, so odds are shorting bounces up to 29.75 will be successful. I'm definitely looking to be short on good bounces today, provided the market isn't to whippy.

10:45

So far I like the action I am seeing, not anything like yesterday. Yes there are fast moves but it's not schizophrenic today. Despite the push up I'm still leaning bearish. We broke through 30.75 but have failed to hold it. So far, I'm patiently waiting for a high probability entry. There have been some speculative ones that I may have played in my emotional state yesterday but have left alone today, which is what I really should be doing. So far I'm pleased with how the market looks and how I'm observing everything. I will consider shorting the next pop but will not do so blindly.

And so far, no Twitter and only a few quick checks into that chat room to look for news.

11:14

Trade #1, shorted 2126, got a break lower of a small consolidation range in conjunction with a lower low and an RSX signal that was also (slightly) lower. The RSX wasn't strong, so I wasn't expecting a huge move based on that.

I calmly entered at 2126, the bottom of the consolidation zone. The market kept kissing that price but it took a while to get a fill. I took only 1 tick of heat.

My stop was up at 2129, a tick above the last swing high of 2128.75. This was actually too tight given the market swings but I felt okay with it My 1R target was down at 2123.0. Target price was hit in about 3 minutes. I was tempted to stay with the trade to see if I could ride it down for a new low, but I knew that was greed. If I'd been in with multiple contracts, I'd have scaled out there and held the other, but since I sold 1 contract, I needed to respect my target and exit, which I did.

I'm very pleased with the execution here. I didn't take a profit of a few ticks. I didn't need a lot of patience since price bombed pretty quickly, but I was tested in terms of being greedy. It feels good to get some positive points on the board but it feels better that I stuck with my plan 100%.

13:00

Not seeing much really. Still bearish and looking to short bounces I've just not found any. Price touched the SR zone at 29.75 at 12:20, stopping at 2130.0 but I did not short here. Looking at it now, it looks a perfectly good short but price was grinding higher at the time so I didn't rate it. Had price re-tested I would have been tempted, or had price moved into and perhaps out the top of the zone and been quickly rejected, I would have been shorting. But, it was not this way so there was no trade for me to consider.

13:50

I had the right idea but the wrong execution. I shorted 2127.75 at 13:31, I put my stop at 2127.50, 1.75 points above my entry and 2 ticks above the most recent swing high. I seriously considered moving my stop a bit higher, maybe another tick or two just in case there was a false breakout or some stop running. But I kept it where it was. About 3 minutes later I got stopped out, right on the dot. The ES just now sold off to 2120.0, so my mistake cost me a bit. I felt that there was plenty of downside available, so moving my stop up even another point would have been fine in terms of a reasonable 1R target. I basically fell into the noob trap.

I knew that I was cutting it pretty close with my stop placement but I left it there anyway. I seriously considered getting back into the trade after I got stopped out, and of course looking at it now it would have been fine, but I was not getting back in for the right reasons. So I didn't and missed some profit but didn't revenge trade (no matter if it would have been profitable this time). Lesson here...listen to the voice in your head about setting stops too tight; this isn't August anymore.

14:15

So busy fussing about my misplaced stop that I missed a great re-entry on the continuation of this downside move. I had a great setup at 14:04, everything looked great and I just plain missed it. This trade, which I followed via paper, hit a 1R target for +3.75.

15:15

Got a nice setup at 15:03, a little bounce higher but there was underlying weakness and my bearish lights are still flashing. I shorted at 2119.75 with a nice 3 point stop; I learned from earlier. This put my 1R target at 16.75 which hit in 9 minutes. I must say when price stalled after 6 ticks I got that strong urge again to just bail at that point but I promised I'd kick myself in the balls if I did, so I stuck with the trade. I was also tempted to hold on for a home run, but my 1st scale for my trading plan is 1R and since I'm trading 1 contract that's the deal. Pretty happy with my execution today, the profit is just gravy.

End of Day Update

I missed a long trade here at 15:30, my usual trading cutoff. It was a strong signal but I wasn't in my office at the time, good for +2. I don't mind that so much since I did really well trading today.

All told I had 3 trades today, 2 were good and I had 1 stop because I misplaced my stop loss on trade #2. I could have chased the trade after getting stopped out, and I would have been profitable most likely but it would have not fit my plan and would have been more of a revenge trade, so despite giving up some points I'm glad I just took my lesson and moved on.

Now a few months ago getting stopped out on a mistake would have had me stop trading for the day; I would have been unable to enter another trade because at that time I had a profit on the day, and I would have been scared that my next trade would get stopped out and I would go from a profit on the day to a loss. Not today though. When I entered my 3rd trade the thought definitely came into my mind...Oh hell I could go from a little profit today to a loss! I just put the order in anyway since the setup was good. I avoided the urge to fiddle on my winners as well. 2 or 3 weeks ago today would have been a break even day or maybe a small loss, because my winners would have been ticks and not points. I would have been looking back kicking myself for not following my plan. Today I can be happy that I followed my plan well. It was not easy. Being patient and waiting for my setups was hard. Getting into other trades that could have been winners but were more speculative (lower probability and conditions I've not back tested and studied) was tempting, especially as I saw all of the points that could have been made. But I remained focused and and went back to my plan. I don't need to make EVERY trade, I only need to make a few trades that fit my plan.

Taking a step back, eliminating the noise (Twitter, the chat room) and really just being calm and focusing on my plan made the market slow down for me. Today was probably a really easy day to read and trade, but it's still they type of day I would have royally screwed up not too long ago.

I definitely hit my goal today. I really felt like I just needed 1 day where I just took my trades and stuck with them, I felt like that would give me a little boost of confidence that I needed. I think I got that today.

Tomorrow I will follow the same plan. I'm not going to get stupid or arrogant, I'm just going to eliminate the noise and be patient. I have plenty of other things I can do while I wait on the market anyway.




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 rocksolid68 
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Comeback King View Post

The action on Monday and Tuesday was nearly impossible for me to trade. I could not get a good read on the market and when I did it was always a minute and 4 points too late. I will be watching the action in the early going to assess what's happening before I decide to trade. If the market is going to put in 3 minute ranges of 5+ points up and down regularly I'll just do something else for the day...it's too stressful trying to figure out what the heck is going on and where to put an entry with a reasonable stop.

I see this with so many traders. This causes a paralysis of sorts.

You are so flustered about how to predict the future when it simply can not be done. You can't do it. It is a fact.

What you can do however, is pick direction and manage your trade from there.

Don't worry so much about picking the direction correctly. It doesn't matter. Read my post about asymmetrical returns for more on this.

If you pick to be long (bullish), then you either lose a little bit when it goes down, or you make a bunch when it goes up!

If you can manage your trades correctly, you only need to pick the correct direction ~30% of the time! Seriously! The direction you choose is meaningless if you can't manage your trade.

Do not feel like this is directed at you, because this affects all failing traders.

I hope this helps!

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 Comeback King 
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rocksolid68 View Post
I see this with so many traders. This causes a paralysis of sorts.

You are so flustered about how to predict the future when it simply can not be done. You can't do it. It is a fact.

What you can do however, is pick direction and manage your trade from there.

Don't worry so much about picking the direction correctly. It doesn't matter. Read my post about asymmetrical returns for more on this.

If you pick to be long (bullish), then you either lose a little bit when it goes down, or you make a bunch when it goes up!

If you can manage your trades correctly, you only need to pick the correct direction ~30% of the time! Seriously! The direction you choose is meaningless if you can't manage your trade.

Do not feel like this is directed at you, because this affects all failing traders.

I hope this helps!

Thanks man. Friday, for example, I was pretty comfortable with what the market was doing - which direction it was going. Monday and today not so much. I figured we were trending down but we had these huge bounces so it made me wonder. I have a few things I look for as far as trade entry and normally I can get a good read on the entry but not the last few days. I really didn't know, many times, whether the market was coming or going.

Today, there were times I knew we were going down but getting short was difficult. There were some spots but my stop would have been very wide, wider than I thought a reasonable target was. I haven't had a lot of these days as I just try to look for my specific setups and go from there. If the market is doing something but I'm not getting a signal then I don't really worry about it much. Today (and yesterday) everything was just mixed up.

I'm not too stressed because my entry and exit methods are not going to be clear in all market conditions. We have ranged a total of 115 points over the last 3 days. That's an entire week's worth at times (10 days worth in a few periods in August). I don't think this craziness will continue, and when it settles a bit and my signals get more clear I'll be in a better position to try to trade them.

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 Comeback King 
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So I just spent the last 3 hours going back through my trades over the last 7 weeks and looking at my charts, the market conditions at the time, why I traded those locations, etc. There was literally nothing about today that says I should have made 1 trade...I made 6.

In my quest to get into trades and stay with them to the bitter end I managed to over trade.

I have gotten into the habit of checking Twitter often during the day - that stops now. If there is a big pop or drop I'll go on to check and see if there is news but that's it.

I also belong to a chat group with a few other ES traders in there. I actually left earlier in the year because I was more concerned about what they were doing then I was focusing on what I needed to be doing. The room is helpful but I need to be more disciplined and manage my time there better than I am.

I also need to stop every 30 minutes or so and reassess the market, asking myself questions that I do premarket. I need to get a read on things so I can make smart trades.

There are some days I should be taking 3-4 trades, but really I don't need to ever be trading more than that. Some days (TODAY) I should not make any trades. I need to really just focus on getting into high probability trades and sticking to them, managing my stop/target according to the market action and structure. If I stop and try to get a feel for what is going on and I have no idea, then I need to step aside until I do. This was today. What I don't need to do is start getting into trades and trading too much, which is what I ended up doing today. Luckily I didn't break or blow anything up...luckily.

Another day and another lesson. It's all about learning.

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 Comeback King 
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ES Plan for 9/15

SR Zones I have marked:

53.75 - 55.25
48.25 - 50.25
43.75 - 45.25
39.25 - 40.75
35.0 - 36.50
29.75 - 31.25
21.50 - 23.50
13.75 - 15.25
5.75 - 7.75
01 - 03

I've got a little better on the zones at this point I feel; we've had some nice activity in a more reasonable range for me to find those LVN zones.

pHi: 2134.50
pLo: 2112.0
pCl:2122.0

VAH: 2126.50
VAL: 2115.50

ONH: 2124.50
ONL: 2107.75

Looks like a double distribution to me, closing below value. A bit of a bearish sign I suppose but the rally off the lows was a little encouraging also. Thinking really early here but I could see an open below value and range that moves lower quickly, maybe testing or breaking 01. That would sucker the most shorts before crushing their souls by moving hard to the upside. I could also imagine the same open testing up into value and rejecting, suckering a few longs at the same time.

Those would be the fireworks type scenarios. I could also see an open in value and a more lazy day floating between HVN's that were left today, filling in the rest of the profile. Or maybe an open below value that's slowly bought into value where we float around.

Or I guess we could open at 2150...anything's possible.

Premarket Update, 8:50

As I am writing this we are coming off the premarket/overnight high pretty hard. News was mixed to good IMO, poor retail sales great Philly Fed number and the other stuff was basically consensus. I don't like to predict how the market will digest all of this news but to me it's either a wash or slightly bullish. The market does seem to be operating on reverse psychology lately news-wise with the FOMC approaching; good news seems to be met with selling and bad news is bought up - I suppose it's all about the rate hike.

Overnight the market bounced at 2107.75 which is also the top of a support level I have, so I'll be paying close attention to that number. We also topped out just above the top of an SR level I have marked between 21.50 and 23.50, so that's also interesting.

Early on I will be working off the IBH/IBL stat, 95.7% of the time the market hits one of those levels during RTH. I would not be shocked to see the high and low of the day made in the first 1/3 of the day - before 11:45, big moves this morning in response to the wide ONR and morning news that dies down into the afternoon. There are a few more news items to be released, one at 9:15 (potentially big) and the EIA report at 10:30, though that generally is not a big market mover.

As usual, I'll be cautious off the open. I believe there will be good opportunities today that fit into my style and plan so I'll be patiently aggressive and wait for my opportunity.

Plans:

1) If we start dropping off the open I will be very interested at 07.75. I like that the market stopped here overnight, so I will be watching for buyers to be aggressive here. I like this area even more if we have not taken out 24.50 first. If we've pushed up to or past 24.50 first and are now testing 07.75 I will be much more cautious. I don't see great upside potential today, so buying 07.75 would be playing a range bound day.

2) As mentioned, I don't see great upside today. My belief is that we are either locked in a nice range or we drop lower. I believe the drop lower would come off a move up in the first hour that either stalls or spikes and traps buyers. I we are moving up off the open I will look for a nice spot to fade, but will likely do so after 10:15/10:30. I like this idea a lot if we have not tested or probed lower within the first 60-90 minutes of the day. If it's upside moves, I think it could be a great spot to sell. If this is happening I think the ONH is taken out, so I'll be keen in the 29.75 - 31.25 zone and will also be watching out for pHi at 34.50. If we don't get that far within the first 90 minutes, I think we will see pLo at 12.0 today and will be trading accordingly.

Here's a chart I started watching yesterday. I'm not generally big on channels but it's something I am paying attention to.



9:40

Wow, the open is super flat and looks choppy. I missed the first 7-8 minutes as I was meditating but the candles don't look friendly. My thinking here is that we could range today so at this moment I am very much inclined to fade extremes higher if the market isn't stupid whippy like Tuesday; I'll be more cautious on extremes lower. Given the open I could also see a runner today if we somehow get above 37, which is unlikely. Also, if we break and hold below the 7.75 - 5.75 area I think we could see a huge down day.

I still like the idea of buying the 7.75 area but I won't be as aggressive with it. I very much like the idea of fading moves higher at this point.

10:15

I post a chart and it blows up...haha. So far #2 is in play. Internals are moving slightly bearish so I'm liking the fade higher even more. Where is the question. I'm going to play it patiently. No need to pick the top when I can catch the retest on a higher probability trade. I will be cautious if we hold above 37, that might change things into a trend day but I think this is very unlikely at this moment.

11:40

Slow grind higher. I saw a long opportunity at 10:45, it was a clear long signal but price had already run higher and I was leaning bearish so I skipped it. Looking back, that was a mistake - live and learn.

I'll be curious if we can get to 2142 at this point, I think that's a possibility. These grinding days are hard to get an entry going. Shorting seems dangerous and buying seems like chasing. Staying patient and looking for a trade but I won't push it. Internals are flat at the moment so I have no bias from that perspective.

12:30

No trades so far today. I've done a lot more looking at the trade from. I was too bearish biased at that time and looking at the things I look at for internals, etc. I should not have been. This was a nice setup and should have been taken. My mistake was being too bearish which resulted in me skipping the trade unnecessarily.



14:20

I pretty much misread the market sentiment this morning, looking bearish and not waking up to the fact that it just was not going to happen. I do need to do a better job of stepping back and looking at the market during market hours. I believe I've improved in this but clearly I missed it today. The one thing I'm happy with is that I realized there have been no short opportunities so far today and I've not lost any money. There was money to be made on the long side though, so there's missed opportunity. I have to leave early today so I'll end with no trades.

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 Comeback King 
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ES Plan for 9/16

SR Zones I have marked:

53.75 - 56.0
44.25 - 47.50
37.75 - 39.75
29.50 - 31.50
13.25 - 15.25
05.75 - 07.75


pHi: 2144.50
pLo: 2114.50
pCl:2138.0

VAH: 2144.25
VAL: 2127.0

ONH: 2136.25
ONL: 2126.50

So we have 3 days where VPOC is shifting up. We have a few naked POC's above and I wonder if we're gunning for them...would not surprise me. I would not rule out a pull back first to the 15-30 zone, a lot of volume is building up in this area. Who knows about the overnight action but if we stay above 30 I'll definitely be looking for a test in that area. If we can bounce then I think we will see more upside tomorrow. Given where we are, I would think it would take a while to go lower if we break under 30 barring a news event. We do have a few economic releases tomorrow at 8:30 and 10:00 that could provide a catalyst.

I have a big gap in SR from 30 down to 15 because I just don't see anything in between that would cause a quick reversal of price, just a bunch of left over volume. Hopefully the overnight stays above 30 because I'd been keen to play that area tomorrow.

I have an extremely busy afternoon tomorrow so I will only be able to trade the morning session. With quad witching I'm fine skipping the close anyway.

Morning Update, 9:00

Not a bad overnight range and we're now testing up around the ONH off the CPI news. Premarket news trades are the one types of trades that I still felt pretty comfortable with when I got back into futures trading as the tendency is still basically the same a decade later. I've been getting to my screen later since school started but this past week things have gone smoother in car line so I've been able to get in front of my screens before 8:30. I played the CPI news but it was only good for 1 point...I'll take the point though.

Plan for the day, trading until about 12:30 due to meetings:

1) I still like buying a dip early on for another push higher, and I like the 31.50 - 29.50 zone. I won't just buy there blindly but I'll for sure be looking for an opportunity. I think price might test below that down to 26.50 so I won't short 29.50 right away if price moves below that area. If it holds below for some time and the internals I watch are bearish then I'll look for a short there. Generally though, I'm going in bullish on an initial move down.

2) As the shorter term trend is up, I will be careful selling into strength today unless internals are really bearish and even in that case I wouldn't really look for weakness until the afternoon. Not to say I won't sell into higher prices, I'll just be more cautious. If we reach yesterdays high and internals are not screaming bullish then that would be my ideal place to sell.

3) I kind of covered this in #1, but if we push down off the open and stall, breaking and holding below 29.50 I will lean toward more downside. Additionally, if we drop off the open and cannot recover above 29.50 I will look for lower prices.

13:20

Not a whole lot of action today so I actually wrapped it up late morning and took a lunch out. The last 2 days have showed me that I need to do some adjusting with my pre-market bias. Today I was really wanting to go long in the 29.50 - 31.50 zone; I was convinced that was going to be a good play. However, the market opened and dropped, internals were very bearish. Price kept moving into my 29.50 - 31.50 zone and kept failing. Over and over this was happening. In the back of my mind, I kept thinking, "but this is where I want to go long, I can't short this". The charts were literally screaming at me to short here, yet I didn't because I really thought it would be a buying opportunity. I was unable to let go of my premarket bias and adjust after the open as conditions changed (or became more clear).

The trade below, a perfect short at 29.50, multiple opportunities. I also had a bearish confirmation signal/trade opportunity at 10:01 where I could have held or added or re-entered. Both high probability setups but buying was stuck in my brain.

So, I'm going to stop trying to predict the market and just play my levels. I study the premarket to make myself more aware of possible key levels, but I'll just observe price action around here instead of "look for a long" there. I can some insight with market internals and today was strong bear on the open so it really was a perfect setup for me to take.




Overall today I grabbed 4 ticks on premarket news but missed the bigger and better trade off the open. I don't feel that I was scared or nervous at all, I was just distracted by my own premarket bias of wanting to buy the dip. When the market was telling me the opposite, I didn't listen. Another day and another lesson; I'm pleased if I can notice something and learn from it, particularly when it does not dent my trading account.

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 rocksolid68 
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ES Plan for 9/15


I pretty much misread the market sentiment this morning, looking bearish and not waking up to the fact that it just was not going to happen. I do need to do a better job of stepping back and looking at the market during market hours. I believe I've improved in this but clearly I missed it today. The one thing I'm happy with is that I realized there have been no short opportunities so far today and I've not lost any money. There was money to be made on the long side though, so there's missed opportunity. I have to leave early today so I'll end with no trades.

Awesome stuff here as always @Comeback King!

I, like you, was bearish today. It costed me $600! However, the key is admitting when you are wrong, and cutting the losses short.

Like you said, sit back and re-evaluate.

When you saw the long setup, you should have taken it. Why? Because if you won, you made lots of money. If you lost, you lost a little bit of money.

I would take that trade every single time. Even if it was a loser.

Keep it up, you are already making progress

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thetamax8
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Hello. Enjoying your journal here. Thought I would provide some comments as I too am going through the process of trying to improve my discipline and process.

It sounds like there were often times you exited trades early (out of fear it seems) or entered trades that were not part of your official plan. I did this quite often before as well. Things I started doing that helped:

A) Instead of focusing on the ticks and $ profit from trades, I started scoring my trades on a scale of 1 through 5:

1 = full stop hit
2 = loss, but less than full stop because I adjusted it
3 = break-even
4 = profitable but before full target, because I decreased the target
5 = full original target hit

Then, I just started focusing on a goal of having all scores of either 1 or 5. That's because those scores meant that I stuck to my original parameters (note that having a score of 2 is ok too, IF your plan includes moving stops up)

B) Traded smaller - exiting early is a sign of fear. Fear of losing $. Trade smaller so that the $ amount is so small, it is not a factor

Also, is it possible to trade in the evening after work? As it sounds like managing ES scalp timeframe trades while working is a challenge.

Just my 2 cents...hope it helps

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 Comeback King 
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Hello. Enjoying your journal here. Thought I would provide some comments as I too am going through the process of trying to improve my discipline and process.

It sounds like there were often times you exited trades early (out of fear it seems) or entered trades that were not part of your official plan. I did this quite often before as well. Things I started doing that helped:

A) Instead of focusing on the ticks and $ profit from trades, I started scoring my trades on a scale of 1 through 5:

1 = full stop hit
2 = loss, but less than full stop because I adjusted it
3 = break-even
4 = profitable but before full target, because I decreased the target
5 = full original target hit

Then, I just started focusing on a goal of having all scores of either 1 or 5. That's because those scores meant that I stuck to my original parameters (note that having a score of 2 is ok too, IF your plan includes moving stops up)

B) Traded smaller - exiting early is a sign of fear. Fear of losing $. Trade smaller so that the $ amount is so small, it is not a factor

Also, is it possible to trade in the evening after work? As it sounds like managing ES scalp timeframe trades while working is a challenge.

Just my 2 cents...hope it helps

Thanks for the comments.

That's an interesting ratings system and something I'll definitely consider. Right now I'm either yes/no but it might be good to have some ratings in between like you're doing.

I definitely had and have a fear of losing money, even though the money in my account is extra and I have more to start over with or add if I blow up. In doing a lot of thinking it seems that somewhere, almost unconsciously, I have this fear of blowing up today, on the next trade. But I'd have to have months worth of losses with no winners to blow up, so that's not reasonable. It's something I'm getting a bit better with though, and I think the volatility helps that because my targets are hit very quickly - I don't really have the time to get nervous.

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 Comeback King 
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Weekly Review for 9/5 - 9/9

Negatives for the week:
1. Made a number of error trades and did not stick to my specific plan
2. Traded the Tuesday chaos when I really felt uncomfortable with price action
3. Made an error on a stop placement that cost me 4+ points between the loss and would be profit.
4. I was overly biased on more days than not.

Positives for the week:
1. I'm continuing to learn from my mistakes
2. When I got stopped out because of the tight stop, I did not get pissed and revenge trade. I also did not stop trading for the day, I took the next valid signal and followed my plan and the trade was a winner.
3. I recognized that I was too distracted by things around me (Twitter, chat room) and took steps to eliminate them. My ability to focus instantly improved.
4. I recognized that my stops are too tight and I need to increase them as the volatility has also increased.
5. Though I modified my morning routine, I stuck to the core of it. The modification was also helpful and I felt much less rushed.
6. I recognized on Friday that my bias is hampering my ability to react and take trades. My premarket routine has me do an analysis of what I think may play out and write a few scenarios. This is something I learned from FT71; all the people there do this. It's okay on days where I am correct, but on other days I am letting these things cloud my observations of the market once it opens. This causes a clash of ideas; I have a predisposed idea and new information that is contrary to that. This causes indecision, which causes me to be uneasy with a valid trade opportunity which causes hesitation which causes me to miss the trade. I am going to modify my morning routine starting Monday to eliminate any sort of premarket bias or prediction, instead focusing on where close SR zones are and where I see areas of volume congestion. I believe this will help me digest and accept the early market information I receive and will eliminate my hesitation when I see a good trading opportunity early on.
7. This is the biggest one by far. I had an entire day where I stuck to my trading plan 100%, did not get distracted, did not get overly biased. I was a bad stop placement away from having an absolute perfect trading day. I wrote a lot on this day and it's something I'm going to continue to go back to and re-read. I am going to focus on this day and remember how I felt. I am going to use this one day to eliminate a lot of my fears and nerves and I'm going to use it to show myself that I can follow my trading plan and when I do, positive things can happen.

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 Comeback King 
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ES Plan for 9/19

SR Zones I have marked:

71.25 - 73.25
65.0 - 66.0
53.75 - 56.0
41.25 - 42.50
37.0 - 39.0
33.50 - 35.25
29.0 - 30.25
21.75 - 23.50
13.25 - 15.25
05.75 - 07.75

pHi: 2134.25
pLo: 2123.0
pCl:2132.0

VAH: 2131.50
VAL: 2126.50

ONH: 2144.25
ONL: 2131.75

No predictions or scenarios that I will be looking for. I will say that I think it looks pretty tight and heavy below this 32.0 area; a lot of volume to work through. At the same time, I see some zones overhead that are quite close together. These don't present a great RR setup unless I've seen something incorrectly or the market does not react to one of these areas, which is quite possible.

My general thoughts going into next week are probably not unique; possible ranging days until the Fed news on Wednesday. Since that's the common perception I won't be surprised to see a big move, but I'll just focus on the charts and the internals and trade accordingly.

My goal for the week is to just take each trade that I see, understanding that each trade on it's own does not have an edge; the edge is built over a longer series of trades and within that series there will be winners and stops. It's up to me to follow my plan to take advantage of the winning trades, being patient and holding them to the target outlined in my trading plan.

9:00

Nice overnight range and we look to be opening near the upper end of that. 94% of the time the ONH or ONL is broken while only 21% of the time both are broken. Given where we are opening, the stats favor a break of the ONH. We also look to be gapping up off the open, somewhere between 8 and 10 points. There is an ~85% chance that the gap remains unfilled during RTH today.

Not making predictions here, but that statistics support price staying above Friday's close of 2132.0 and strongly favor staying above the ONL at 31.75 if we take out 2144.25 first. I will certainly be keeping an eye on these things today, particularly if we take out 44.25 then start to move lower.

The plan today is to just trust my setups and trade them, just like I did last Wednesday. Regardless of the P&L outcome, I will feel very good at the end of the day if I can trade my plan without errors.

13:30

Stats are done basically and we closed the gap; based on the open there was about an 80% chance of it being unfilled today. I missed a trade at 12:09; valid setup, looking back I should have taken it but it was right in the middle of that range so I skipped it. There was a long I skipped at 11:20 for the same reason that was a break even; the 12:09 short would have worked. Overall, I'm fine with these; I need to either take the signals no matter what or avoid them around congestion areas and/or near my SR zones. In the case of the 12:09 trade I would have been shorting into the bottom of my SR zone and I've told myself to not do this.

I did take a legitimate entry long at 13:06. I bailed pretty quickly as momentum went negative and got out at break even. This was the correct play per my plan, so I feel good there.

Overall I'm a bit surprised by the downside moves today. My internals still favor a long today so I'm happy for the market to move down, perhaps there will be an opportunity to get long at some point this afternoon. Either way, I'll continue to trade what I see and trade according to my plan.

End of Day

I didn't get any other setups today. The low at 27.75 had me intrigued given the volume spike but I never got a good entry.

Ended the day with 1 trade and flat. Coulda, shoulda, woulda on the trade from just after noon but I had a good reason for skipping it at the time. The market is so much easier to trade at the end of the day...

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 rocksolid68 
Duluth MN
 
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ES Plan for 9/19

SR Zones I have marked:

71.25 - 73.25
65.0 - 66.0
53.75 - 56.0
41.25 - 42.50
37.0 - 39.0
33.50 - 35.25
29.0 - 30.25
21.75 - 23.50
13.25 - 15.25
05.75 - 07.75

pHi: 2134.25
pLo: 2123.0
pCl:2132.0

VAH: 2131.50
VAL: 2126.50

ONH: 21
ONL: 21

No predictions or scenarios that I will be looking for. I will say that I think it looks pretty tight and heavy below this 32.0 area; a lot of volume to work through. At the same time, I see some zones overhead that are quite close together. These don't present a great RR setup unless I've seen something incorrectly or the market does not react to one of these areas, which is quite possible.

My general thoughts going into next week are probably not unique; possible ranging days until the Fed news on Wednesday. Since that's the common perception I won't be surprised to see a big move, but I'll just focus on the charts and the internals and trade accordingly.

My goal for the week is to just take each trade that I see, understanding that each trade on it's own does not have an edge; the edge is built over a longer series of trades and within that series there will be winners and stops. It's up to me to follow my plan to take advantage of the winning trades, being patient and holding them to the target outlined in my trading plan.

Good stuff! I look forward to seeing how the week ends up!


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 Comeback King 
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ES Plan for 9/20

SR Zones I have marked:

71.25 - 73.25
65.0 - 66.0
53.75 - 56.0
44.50 - 46.50
37.0 - 39.0
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
05.75 - 07.75

pHi: 2146.75
pLo: 2127.75
pCl:2133.0

VAH: 2141.25
VAL: 2130.0

Composite VAH: 2136.0
Composite VAL: 2115.75

ONH: 2142.25 (so far)
ONL: 2130.75

I'm sure the expectation was a pretty tight trading day but we got a good range and some nice range expansion (I look at this after the first 40 minutes). While Friday's value area was pretty tight, the composite value area since we've been in this range is from 2115.75 to 2136.0 (as far as I can see). With that, I suppose it's not too surprising that we pulled back into value today after the test higher off the open.

Another nice overnight range with ES looking to open 5-7 points higher than yesterday's close. We should open at or near yesterdays VAH but certainly within range. I have an SR zone just below pVAH so I'll be interested to see what price does in this area. It's possible that price will be attracted by the composite value area between 2136 and 2116.

I was not happy with my SR zones yesterday, particularly at 2138 and 2135. I went back and re-examined my process for determining these areas and I can see the reasoning, but I can also see why they didn't work out. I suppose I could have considered these as possible or minor SR zones. For today, I stayed away from these, only focusing on zones where I could really see a gap in volume. I'm not sure if I want to track more minor zones or not; that's something I need to think over more.

FOMC starts today. I suppose the general feel is a range type day with lower volatility and a smaller range. That's the most logical assumption but I'll work hard to just trade what I see.

I made 1 trade yesterday. Looking back through my charts and reviewing yesterday there were 4 setups; I traded #3. The first two were right around an SR zone and the market had little direction at that time. This is one of the SR zones I was not happy with. Looking back, both trades would have been okay (neither would have stopped out) but at the time both seemed like poor trades given their location. There was a signal in the afternoon just after the bottom. I did see the signal at the time but we also looked like we were overbought at the time so I preferred to buy a pullback at that time; a pullback that never came. Again, looking back the setup would have worked but given the context at that particular moment, it seemed like a higher risk trade that I'm not really interested in at this point.

I'm at the point where I want to be patiently aggressive, that's what I'm telling myself. I'm a bit torn as far as yesterday. I don't think I was trigger shy, but I don't want to get into the habit of looking for reasons to skip trades. At the same time, I don't want to get into what I feel are higher risk setups right now; I just want the Grade A ones. Once I get into a good habit of getting into those I'll consider the higher risk ones, but I need to start walking before I can run.

The larger point here is that I'm torn on what I did versus what I should have done. I'm not convinced I traded properly yesterday. I'm going to continue looking for my setups, being cautious and not getting into bad trades yet at the same time being patiently aggressive. It's a fine line and I'm not sure I actually know where it is. I'm sure I will find that line in time as I get more experience and "screen time".

3:51

Had a few meetings today but I didn't miss too much. Just could not get anything going today really. 12.5 point range felt like a lot less than that, probably because it's been a lot more than that lately. Tomorrow through Friday I am busy for parts of the morning but free most of the afternoon...just a really busy week this week unfortunately.

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 Comeback King 
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ES Plan for 9/21

SR Zones I have marked:

71.25 - 73.25
65.0 - 66.0
53.75 - 56.0
44.50 - 46.50
38.0 - 39.0
29.25 - 30.0
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
05.75 - 07.75

pHi: 2143.50
pLo: 2129.75
pCl:2131.0

VAH: 2140.50
VAL: 2134.0

ONH: 2144.0
ONL: 2126.25

Fed day tomorrow. I will be pretty busy in the morning but not until later so I might be able to trade if something sets up. Otherwise, I'll be ready to watch the fed reaction and perhaps trade that in the afternoon.

8:35AM

Quite a move overnight on the BOJ news. It's been many months ago now when I tried my hand and trading the initial Fed reaction. I didn't take a big loss, I think it was 3 or 4 points but I shorted the initial reaction down and damn near shorted the bottom tick. As tempting as it is for me to trade the reaction, it's too much of a coin flip. Sometimes we get the initial reaction that reverses hard and other times it seems that we keep going. More often we reverse hard, but it's not really a place I need to put my money.

So...I'll take trades that come up this morning and I'll be around later in the afternoon to trade as well. It kind of sucks that I'll be busy mid day today as I think that might be the best opportunity but, as the sign in front of me says, "Stay with the market, stay engaged. You don't know what will happen when."

I've not been active at all this week, just 1 trade for break even. I have seen some trades but each time there were too many questions, they were not clear as defined by my parameters. Sitting here on Wednesday, having made 1 trade all week, I look back with a bit of frustration - 2 days wasted. However, I am committed to trading my plan and only my plan, so I'm not going to compromise and start trading random stuff just because. At the end of the day I'm doing this to make money, not for some thrill ride. I'm going to try to be patiently aggressive again today and more importantly not doing anything stupid.

3:45

Calling it a day for now. I was extremely busy today until around 13:00; I peeked at my charts here and there but was not able to take trades. Looking back there were a few signals in the morning/early afternoon that were valid and profitable in hindsight. Tomorrow morning sucks too; I'm busy from around 10:00 until 12:30 and Friday isn't looking too hot in the morning. I should be able to pay attention both afternoon's and with no FOMC news perhaps the markets will be cooperative with me and offer a few trades.

Growing a little frustrated at this point as the time I have to possibly trade sucks and the times I can't seem okay. Perhaps that's just the way I'm seeing things now and not entirely true. I'm still going to stick to my plan and not trade outside of it but I almost feel that I just need to click the mouse a few times to make sure I can actually still do it!

Hopefully soon.

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 Comeback King 
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ES Plan for 9/22

SR Zones I have marked:

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
65.0 - 66.0
53.0 - 55.0
44.50 - 46.50
37.50 - 39.50
29.25 - 31.0
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
05.75 - 07.75

pHi: 2157.50
pLo: 2131.50
pCl:2156.25

VAH: 2144.0
VAL: 2132.50

ONH: 2166.50
ONL: 2152.75

Nice expansion of value area and we built a nice high volume area 55.50 and 56.25 right near the close. Given the close I'm kind of wondering if we're now stuck in the July/August range that seems to start around 52/54. Perhaps we will reject and move down toward the most recent range or perhaps we will get sucked up into the 70's and 80's again. I suppose it's worth noting that the NQ made another ATH today.

Thursday will again be busy for me at work. The good news is that next week look nice and clear.

Thursday news at 8:30 and 10:00. There's also some news at 10:30 and 11:00 but those are not generally big movers.

8:55

So we're going to open above the close, high and value from yesterday. The general theory is that we could have a bullish trending day if we see good volume and aggressive buying on dips, or just aggressive buying off the open. VWAP is way above the 600 SMA, so that's also very bullish.

No predictions here but I'm going to be very careful with shorting today unless I see a series of lower highs that I get confirmation on from my momentum indicator. I don't want to get locked into a side today as I'm trying to get away from having a strong bias; thus far I've been able to do that this week. I think given what I am seeing at this moment that it is prudent to be cautious on the short side. If I'm not seeing good strength by 11:00 then I'll loosen up a bit on the short ideas and be more open to 2 way trades, but not before then.

I do have meetings from 10:30 to 12:30 today but I will be in my office and at my screens, so I'll be able to at least watch the action if not be able to trade it. I'm still going to focus on being patient but aggressively playing entries that fit my criteria, managing them properly. When I have time to dedicate 100% focus on trading I need to do just that, stay 100% focused. If I see something setting up, I need to divert my attention to trading if at all possible. I need to be comfortable in my discomfort.

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 Comeback King 
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End of Day Update

Complete garbage day, complete garbage week. I did take 1 trade today and scratched it, which was according to plan and fine. It would have played out for a winner but I have chosen to scratch these given the conditions; when I don't it's a little better than 50/50 in terms of winners but at this point I feel more comfortable getting flat and seeing what happens next. Although the range was quite tight today I missed several signals. Busy all day at work and I had to leave early so I was very distracted. I did see a trade in the morning but I just could not get into the trade, I just didn't want to do it. This is very bad. The trade was a part of my plan so I needed to just get in but I didn't. Very poor discipline on my part. I'm getting really pissed about this at this point.

Tomorrow morning is another day and another busy morning with meetings, etc. Normally people are not this needy but this week it's been full on. Hopefully I'll be able to focus after 11:00 or so. Hopefully I'll be able to pull the trigger and stay in a trade. I have gotten really jittery all of a sudden and very nervous, more so than usual. It's really concerning. Perhaps it's because work has been very busy this week and I'm trying to trade on top of it; maybe my nerves are frayed or something. I guess the only bright spot is that I'm not getting into trades that don't fit my plan.

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 rocksolid68 
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Comeback King View Post
End of Day Update

Complete garbage day, complete garbage week. I did take 1 trade today and scratched it, which was according to plan and fine. It would have played out for a winner but I have chosen to scratch these given the conditions; when I don't it's a little better than 50/50 in terms of winners but at this point I feel more comfortable getting flat and seeing what happens next. Although the range was quite tight today I missed several signals. Busy all day at work and I had to leave early so I was very distracted. I did see a trade in the morning but I just could not get into the trade, I just didn't want to do it. This is very bad. The trade was a part of my plan so I needed to just get in but I didn't. Very poor discipline on my part. I'm getting really pissed about this at this point.

Tomorrow morning is another day and another busy morning with meetings, etc. Normally people are not this needy but this week it's been full on. Hopefully I'll be able to focus after 11:00 or so. Hopefully I'll be able to pull the trigger and stay in a trade. I have gotten really jittery all of a sudden and very nervous, more so than usual. It's really concerning. Perhaps it's because work has been very busy this week and I'm trying to trade on top of it; maybe my nerves are frayed or something. I guess the only bright spot is that I'm not getting into trades that don't fit my plan.


It may seem counter intuitive, but to get over the whole nervous to trade thing. Just put a trade on with no reason.

Trust me, this works. Win or lose, you get over the nervousness.

As far as your attitude (angry at the moment), you may be best off not trading tomorrow at all. If you mess up or something tomorrow, you may trade emotionally and lose lots of money.

Just a thought!

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 Comeback King 
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Thanks man, good advice for sure. I had considered just not trading tomorrow and I might sit it out; I'll see how I feel in the morning and go from there.

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 Comeback King 
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ES Plan for 9/23

SR Zones I have marked:

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
65.0 - 66.0
53.0 - 55.0
44.50 - 46.50
37.50 - 39.50
29.25 - 31.0
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
05.75 - 07.75

pHi: 2172.75
pLo: 2164.25
pCl:2167.25

ONH: 2169.50
ONL: 2163.25

VAH: 2171.0
VAL: 2167.25

Most of the trading on 9/22 occurred between the 66.0 and the 71.25 zones I had marked. Looking at the volume I don't see anything to really change as far as my SR zones.

Friday AM is busy for me again at work but I should be free by 11:00. I've been quite frustrated all week so if I'm still in a bad mood tomorrow I'll consider skipping the day. I'm off work on Monday and taking a break from trading; I'll probably spend the day at the beach...one of the benefits of Florida living.

9:10

We drifted lower overnight but nothing spectacular. Unless there's a big move in the next 25 minutes we look to be opening around 66-67 which is right around an SR zone that I have, one that held prices pretty well yesterday. Going into the open things look mixed to slightly bearish. The market has had an up week so I would not be surprised to see some strength at some point today, possibly setting the weekly high above 2172.75.

I have a busy morning so I'll be able to watch the market but might not have enough focus to trade. I might take the day off, not quite sure just yet. If I do trade it will be after 11:00. I'll have to see where I'm at with work and whether or not I'm in a cranky mood and just go from there.

3:30

Busy day today in the morning but I did take 1 trade, no real problem getting into it. I did put an order in 2 ticks below the entry on the chart and got a fill. On my paper trade it ended up being a break even trade but I got 2 ticks profit because of the better fill.

I took a trade in the afternoon (below), it was a legitimate signal but it was higher than the initial one. I got a nice divergence signal at 14:04 at 2157.50. I had been stalking that area for a few minutes because it looked like it could be setting up for a great entry. I'll be damned if a minute before the signal flashed one of my mangers crashed into my office to tell me something that wasn't a big deal - but it couldn't wait. That's pretty much a summary of my week - just garbage timing all around. After a useless 10 minute conversation the price was 2 points higher. I figured there was a small chance of a nice pullback and another signal where I could get long. I did end up entering about 30 minutes after the initial signal at 2159.50, 2 points higher. That really wasn't moving at all so I scratched it; a little earlier than I should have though - so that's not great.

I added a couple of things to my charts. I generally watch buying and selling volume to gauge market internals and I'm working on writing a script for this, so that's new. The one I added isn't mind but I think it's similar so I dropped that on for now and will tinker with it over the weekend. I would prefer something on my chart so I don't have to switch to a separate tab all the time. I also added the TICK high and low below; I generally keep an eye on that but in a separate window. I figured adding it here would be better. I'm not sure how I like it on the chart so I might remove it because things are starting to be cluttered. I worked to remove a lot of stuff and adding more junk on there might be a mistake. They're things I like to pay attention to though.

Today was the most productive day this week for me personally, even though the ES behavior was not conducive to my trading style. While I didn't get the chance to trade all valid entries I did track them on paper according to my plan. All were scratches except for the one I was stalking before I was interrupted; that was the only winner on the day. I'm pleased with my overall attitude when entering the trades today. I'm still a nervous Nancy while the trade is on but I'm getting more used to being uncomfortable and using my tools to basically distract myself so I don't tinker too much. I definitely understand that I will always be uncomfortable while a trade is on. My hope is that I settle in with the feeling and get more used to it and use the tools (mostly things to distract my mind) on a more regular basis. My concern this week is that I was getting trigger shy when entering, which means I never get to practice the uncomfortable part. I wasn't trigger shy at all today, so maybe the whole thing was just me being busy and distracted and not trigger shy after all. I also stuck to my planned trades 100% and didn't start doing stupid things; I'm very pleased with that because that's progress for me.


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 Comeback King 
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Weekly Review for 9/19 - 9/23

Negatives for the week:
1. It was a generally crummy week and I was a cranky trader for the first 4.75 days. Actually, I'm still a little cranky but not as much.
2. I cherry picked setups earlier in the week when I should just be pressing buttons. I was not as aggressive taking setups as I should have been.
3. I was very distracted this week, which was unavoidable. I saw the trades I was missing and I got pretty pissed off on many occasions. I need to realize that this is going to happen and manage my emotions better.

Positives for the week:
1. I didn't do anything stupid (like trade the FOMC reaction).
2. I traded only trades that fit into my plan.
3. On Friday in particular, I got into trades and was not hesitant pulling the trigger.
4. I stuck to my plan of not being overly biased going into the open.
5. My trades on paper worked out very well this week, even though ranges were a lot tighter. This is important because as I continue to see the setups working I will continue to gain more confidence in just clicking buttons and letting go of the outcome on each individual trade.

On Friday I read a quote, I believe attributed to Peter Brandt, "I have no control over whether or not a trade will be profitable. My job is to enter orders. Nothing more, nothing less!" I wrote that down and have it in front on me. I have several that I rotate around, I don't want too much stuff hanging about. I will keep reading and repeating this, maybe it will sink in.

On Friday I also recalled a bit of a lyric from a Cypress Hill song, "I ain't goin' out like a spineless jellyfish". Certainly different context, but I'm determined to find my spine and ride the pain out and just follow my plan. I can accept failure, but only if I've given 100% effort.
5.

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 Comeback King 
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ES Plan for 9/26

SR Zones I have marked:

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
65.0 - 66.0
53.0 - 55.0
44.50 - 46.50
37.50 - 39.50
29.25 - 31.0
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
05.75 - 07.75

pHi: 2166.25
pLo: 2156.0
pCl:2158.75

ONH: 2159.50
ONL: 2144.25

VAH: 2165.25
VAL: 2159.75

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 Comeback King 
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End of Day

I ended up working today and watching the market...not much trading to do. There were a few signals that I did play on paper, some after the fact but as I wasn't planning trading today I mostly just watched off and on. The paper trades produced 5 signals, 1 full hit, 1 full stop and 1 partial hit with the rest break even.

I did finish coding my bull/bear indicators over the weekend (I figured them out on Friday night) and did manual back testing over the weekend. It's not a red light/green light kind of thing but designed to measure overall strength in the market. One looks at aggregate throughout the day and the other looks at the bar by bar rate of change. At this point I've done back testing and observing but that's it. I might use the or I might ditch them. I've generally used 1 indicator (that's also customized) to help me see entries, looking for divergences or confirmations, and that's worked well. I don't want to go and be too indicator heavy but what I figured out on Friday and tested over the weekend looks at the market as a whole and not just the ES, so I think there might be room to use one or both of them. Either way, I'm pretty happy I figured out the code for them.

A final thought on the indicators...the code I figured out to create the new indicators; one of these was something I have been watching on a separate chart to determine underlying market strength. What I've done is taken that information and added it as an indicator to my chart and added a moving average to help determine context. For the other one, I've taken the data and reorganized it a bit to show shorter term moves. So while these are new things to my chart, they're not completely new in terms of me watching them...I've been paying attention to them just not all on one chart.

So...no trades today; I'll be back in normal mode tomorrow.

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 Comeback King 
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ES Plan for 9/27

SR Zones I have marked:

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
65.0 - 66.0
53.0 - 55.0
45.50 - 47.50
36.75 - 38.75
29.25 - 31.0
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
05.75 - 07.75

pHi: 2149.50
pLo: 2138.25
pCl:2140.0

ONH: 2154.0
ONL: 2133.25

VAH: 2144.50
VAL: 2138.25

Range has tightened up a lot recently. From 9/9 - 9/15 we averaged 33.5 points of range during RTH, we're under 14.5 since 9/15. Most of the activity has been done overnight/pre-market leaving some gaps that are unfilled. I have been pleased with how I'm identifying my SR zones, price has pretty much respected them since I started focusing more on major zones and not worrying about leaving large gaps in between zones.

8:45

Nice range last night; the ES rally during the debates was pretty interesting. As I'm writing this the ES is dropping on good sized volume considering the time of the day and there are a lot of big orders on the T&S. It looks likely that we will either open in range and value or slightly below. There are economic reports at 9:00 and 10:00 but they are not major. The book is pretty thick for this time of day as well, that has me wondering if we're setting up for another slow moving day with a tight range. Looking at composite volume profile going back a few weeks we are right in the thick of the composite value area. Given the volume that has traded around this level, I'd expect a lot of chop unless we break higher above 2150 or so. We could certainly move to test the lower end of the composite value area which I see as 2117.50. I have a few SR zones marked between here and there as there are some low volume areas within the value area so I think there is potential to reverse or pause and chop before we get to 2117.50 if the ES is headed that way. I do think a move lower would be a little slower while a move up could go quickly. If we're moving down I'll look for more of a grinding day, similar to yesterday. If the ES wants to move up I will expect the same grind up to 50 but if we break and hold above there I will be on the lookout for quicker moves higher but also strong rejection at my SR zones.

10:45

Shorted at 10:20. The signal was strong, I got agreement with all 3 indicators. I put the trade on a very short leash because the trend was very strong to the upside. The signal was for a short at 2144.25; I was very tempted to wait for another touch of my SR zone at 2145.50 but I shorted at the signal.

I traded according to my plan. My plan in this situation says to not give the trade very much room to work. Even though the trend was up, my internals were bearish. Could/should I have given the trade more time? Looking back - yes; even though as I'm writing this price has not yet hit my 1st target. But I developed my plan over time, looking at these scenarios and deciding to scratch if the trade wasn't working right away.

In the end, I'm pleased that I got into the trade with no problems. I took heat right away but didn't get nervous at all, I just watched and waited calmly. When the time came to get out at break even, I did so. I didn't worry about missing out on profits or anything like that. So, in terms of sticking to my plan I did well.




11:40

First mistake today. Had a valid setup at 11:01. I thought the logical stop placement was too far away (4.25 points) and didn't think the upside potential was there for a 4.25 move. Here's where I need to stop thinking and just trade my chart. The good trades are often times the counter intuitive ones, the ones that "seem" like they won't work. I know this, but I still gave into a bad habit - even though I know better. I did question myself for a few minutes and had a chance to get into the trade but I held off, again thinking that there was little chance of a solid move up.

Before I started developing a plan, back testing, etc. I was trading off of what I thought. That didn't last very long as I could see the white light coming toward me...my account would have been down to zero pretty fast if I'd continued to do that. I know better than to trade what I think, I just need to trade what I see. Mistake #1 today, I'll try to make it my only mistake.



12:40

That one hurt. Paper traded it but didn't take it for real. Trading by plan this was a 15.75 point winner on 2 contracts. I really need to just trade my chart and stop skipping trades that I don't feel good about...those are always the good ones!

End of Day

Not much of an afternoon as far as good trades for me. I did get continuing internal weakness as we rode up near 53/54 but the longer we consolidated the less I liked the idea of shorting there. As of Monday I began putting this on my chart but I also still watch it on a separate tab/window and look for bigger divergence. The green line is one of my internal measurements while the blue line is the ES. Internals were getting much worse while the ES was holding in range. Normally I like to play a divergence but when it gets this extreme it sort of stops making sense. I have seen these situations produce nice gap downs the following day, but I don't have enough back testing to to prove that out and see if it is consistent. That's something on my list of things to do eventually.

On the day I took 1 trade early and skipped the big payout trade because I thought I was better than my charts. That was a ~16 point error. This is another area I need to work on for sure, trying to guess the market or thinking that I know the direction when deep down I know that I don't. I am recognizing it closer to the event at this point, so that's a positive. I also didn't step outside of my plan and take a trade today, despite missing out on a nice profit. There would have been a time when I chased those points. The way the ES was today chasing could have ground me up.

In the end it's another day and another lesson. I'm happy with how I managed the 1 trade I entered and I need to stop being picky about what trades I take and just take all of the signals that fit my plan.

Here's one of my internal indicators compared to the ES price.


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 Comeback King 
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ES Plan for 9/28

SR Zones I have marked:

Only a tweak to my SR zone in the 40's, the other ones either held price or were untested. I have been pretty pleased with these lately.

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
65.0 - 66.0
53.0 - 55.0
43.75 - 45.75
36.75 - 38.75
29.25 - 31.0
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
05.75 - 07.75

pHi: 2154.0
pLo: 2132.75
pCl:2153.0

ONH: 2158.0
ONL: 2147.0

VAH: 2153.75
VAL: 2143.25

8:35

8:30 news was a dud and the ES is trading pretty close to the mid of the overnight range which was 11 points. From a shorter term perspective, there is a nice drop in volume above this 50 area, so if we move up today I think it will be rapid. If you zoom out, back to July, then you get a different picture as far as the build. I tend to think that the volume in July has less of an impact than does the more recent September volume; much of this is based on my trading time frame though - I want to be in a trade for as little time as possible.

Assuming we open close to where prices are now, I will be watching my 53-55 zone. Yesterdays VAH is also within this zone and i think this area could set the tone for the day. If we can break above and hold, there's not much holding the ES back from moving higher quickly. If we fail in this area and move down, it will probably be a slower choppy day as there is a lot of volume down below. Yesterdays profile suggests we could or should retest lower soon.

There a lot of Fed speakers on tap today so a slip of the tongue could send the markets in either direction. There are Fed landmines from 8:45 until about 10:30 or so and then again at 1:30 and after the close. I will be extremely cautious this morning and around 1:30.

I spent some time reflecting on my mistake yesterday, missing out on the 15.75 point move. I think there are two parts to these types of mistakes, confidence in my charts and confidence in myself. I'm the one who set up the charts the way that I did; I look for SR zones, I set up the indicators to hunt for price confirmation or divergence, etc. I've back tested with good results in varying types of market conditions. I've paper traded it live with good results in varying types of market conditions. I've actually stuck to a few trades and seen good results but I still don't think that I fully trust what the charts are telling me. I don't know if this is normal and if time will convince me to trust them or if it's more than that.

I also don't trust myself to make the right decisions. This is something that I think is easier (not easy) to work on than the trusting the charts bit. I know that I will make some decisions that will end up being bad ones. My charts are not totally buy here, sell there - there is room for judgement. Yesterday, for example, I was getting sell signals just after noon. However, this was very close to the IBH and we had not yet broken that level. I know that either the IBH or IBL is broken so often that you could almost call it 100%, particularly on a day like yesterday. So, do I just follow my sell signal blindly and go short 4 ticks from an unbroken IBH? Hell no, the odds are definitely not in my favor. In this instance I made a good decision by ignoring a signal. But it's those types of things that I'm still working with, and a part of the reason I skipped the profitable trade yesterday - even though I have a plan that is mostly systematic I still need to make judgement calls based on conditions and context real time. I do think that as I continue to make both good and bad decisions I will continue to learn and be more confident in myself in terms of making good judgements at the appropriate time. I think part of this is a matter of screen time...quality screen time. I also would have learned a lesson by shorting right in front of the IBH yesterday because I would have been stopped out and gone back to re-evaluate the trade to see if it was an error. I always re-evaluate all my trades after the fact, sometimes several times, regardless of their outcome (sometimes winning trades are mistakes). So even making a mistake that ends up being a stop can be a good learning tool.

I have a pretty passive personality by nature and by practice. Switching that off to trade is definitely something that is difficult. Learning to be selectively aggressive or patiently aggressive will take time and it might be something that I never fully master. I don't think I need to fully master this skill to be profitable, I just need get improve from where I am.

Today I'm going to work on taking valid signals, but also be aware of the overall context. I won't short a few ticks from an unbroken ONH or IBH; I'll continue to work to see the signals coming and anticipate them. This will give me time to spend a few minutes evaluating the market context and going through a checklist of items to consider. If I can do this effectively, I will know whether or not I will take the trade if I get the signal from my charts before it even happens. If I do get a valid trade, I won't front run it, I'll be patient and wait for it to develop and be confirmed, but once it does I will be aggressive in my entry. That's my goal for today. I don't have any meetings planned so there should be minimal distractions not only today but the rest of the week.

9:35

Gap up open. There is a 70% chance that we do not fill the gap, considered as touching pCL at 53.0.

10:30 - Trade

Early in the morning I was looking for a reason to go long at or around 55.0, never found one. We broke below 53.0 and I was looking for a reason to short there and found a good reason at 10:20. That's pretty close to the oil number but I shorted anyway, looking for a quick move either to my target or far enough away from my entry for me to feel good about holding into the 10:30 news. Nothing materialized so I scratched it before 10:30.

The market is looking really choppy, the 40-minute range was 3.5 points and the 60-minute range was 5.5 points. Odds here favor a pretty tight day range wise, somewhere between 9 and 12 points I think. Maybe be loosen up a bit in the afternoon when there is a pause in the Fed speakers.

12:20 - Missed opportunity, too picky (not aggressive)

Had a nice long signal at 11:36 at 2146.0. I saw it coming and had been stalking it since the low at 11:07. Given the volume, candle type, distance from VWAP and momentum at that time I was thinking there was a good chance we had just seen the low - at least for the time being. As in these situations, I like to look for confirmation rather than just jump into a trade. I watched the market move off the low and start moving down for a retest. I was ready and everything kept looking like this was going to be the dip to buy. I got a good signal at 2146.0. So what did I do, I put a couple of orders in at 2145.75, looking for a fill at the top of my SR zone. Price dipped there but I did not get filled.

So far, price has exceeded my first target at 2148.75 (1R). It just missed my 2R target by 2 ticks, so on paper I'm holding the second contract for now, either until the second target is hit or until I get a clear short signal or my stop is hit which would be my entry price. So I've missed out on a nice move because I was trying to catch a tick...damn. I really am my worst own enemy.



14:20 - Good trade, followed my plan but was still not aggressive on entry

Had a short signal at 13:47 at 2152.50. I did wait a bit to see if I could get a higher price to short (even though that burned me just a few hours ago) then realized that was not good so I took the short there. This is a trade where I will give it 20 minutes to move and then move my stop to break even or look to exit at break even if I'm offside. I started getting fidgety before the 20 minute mark so I got up and took a walk so I would not deviate from my plan. That worked pretty well. I did end up moving my stop to break even after 20 minutes and it did get hit. I guess oil news hit the wire or something because I stopped out at break even at 14:09 and 4 minutes later the ES was up 6 points.

Because of this late day news I expect the market to be quite volatile trying to find value. If I were long before the oil news hit I'd just ride it out but I'm no where good enough to try to pick an entry here. If we settle a bit and something obvious comes up near 15:30 I'll consider trading it but that's unlikely.



End of Day

I'm pretty pleased with my performance today. I definitely need to stop trying to outperform my plan. If the signal is at X price, I just need to take it there and not try to wait for a better price. Maybe 50% of the time I'll get a better price but the other half I'll probably miss the move entirely. When I paper trade/back test, I don't take better prices, I take the price at the signal (or only if it moves 1 tick beyond when back testing, to guarantee a fill). A lot of my data is based on this, and it's profitable so I should just be happy with that and get my ass into the trade at the price on the chart.

I was pleased with my discipline today. I noticed this cool H&S pattern forming around 12:30 and my former self would have traded that, and got stopped out; this version of me noticed it but was content just watching to see what happened. I also stayed away from the late afternoon oil driven rally. I was getting short signals but I didn't think it was wise to short a news driven market. There were a few spots where I definitely could have made a few points but the risk of getting rolled over didn't seem worth it at that time and still doesn't seem worth it. I also considered hopping aboard the oil train higher but again, I've tried that before and jumped just as the train was reversing while I was laid out on the tracks...I didn't want that feeling again. One day I might be skilled enough for those types of trades but I'd rather just stick to my plan and use the whole deliberate practice thing to get better at that before folding more stuff in. I'd also like to be able to watch other markets like oil and gold and the NQ but that seems like Calculus level math and I'm just trying to get past pre-Algebra. Maybe one day.

So today I had 3 good signals, got into 2 of them and tried on the other but didn't get a fill. All in all pretty good; I just need to get better at sticking to the plan and not trying to beat it. I was VERY happy on my 2nd trade. I recognized myself getting antsy and wanting to fidget so I just took a short walk. Had I not done that I would have surely messed with the trade before I should have. In the end it was still a scratch but the next time I take a walk it might be a big winner, so I'll try to make that a habit.

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 Comeback King 
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ES Plan for 9/29

SR Zones I have marked:

A few tweaks to a couple of my zones with an (*); overall Im still pleased with where they are now and most were untested.

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
65.0 - 66.0
51.50 53.50 (*)
44.0 46.0 (*)
36.75 - 38.75
29.25 - 31.0
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
05.75 - 07.75

pHi: 2165.25
pLo: 2144.0
pCl: 2163.0

ONH: 2167.0
ONL: 2157.50 (so far)

VAH: 2159.75
VAL: 2148.50

8:50

Overnight range was a bit more narrow than it has been lately but still not bad. The ONH is just above the top of one of my SR zones; I will be interested to see what happens if the ES makes it back up there today - could be a good selling opportunity. The ES has been basically moving up since 9/12 so it would seem that it's due for either a pullback or some consolidation soon. Luckily, we're in that July/August congestion zone so there's some reason to lean toward consolidation here. The ES did have 2 weak opens on Monday and Tuesday but overcame them both and has moved higher. I can't decide if this is bullish, as we've shrugged off 2 poor opens and moved higher anyway or bearish, because we've had 2 poor opens and there's a crack in the dam.

There was a bit of premarket news that was mostly positive but not overwhelmingly so. As of now the ES is moving off the 57.50 low and looks to open either just below yesterdays close or right at it and will likely open near or above yesterdays VAH but certainly lower than pHi.

Quite a bit of Fedspeak today and who knows was oil news there will be. I can definitely see the ES wanting to push higher, but how high can it go? We have the 9/22 highs in the lower 70's which was a lower high than in the beginning of September in the low 80's. There's a nice up sloping trendline in place from the 9/12 low but if we don't move above the 9/22 high it seems that we could be headed lower again.

I was very close to having an excellent trading day yesterday, just 1 tick away from perfect. I got greedy and tried to out execute my trading plan. Beating my plan really should not be my goal, it's not something that should even be in my mind. Executing my plan word for word, detail for detail is what I really need to focus on. All of my data is based on my plan, nothing more and nothing less. If I just execute my plan I should have the same results, which I would be pleased with.

So today my focus will be similar to yesterday. Yesterday I was prepared when my trade entry signals arrived; I was looking ahead and I saw them developing. As I saw them developing I looked at what was happening overall, the general context and decided ahead of time if I would enter a trade if I got the signal. There were a few times I decided against entering a trade, like late in the day after the oil news. While trading would have been slightly profitable, staying out of the market was a good decision. I'm going to try my best to take the same approach today...see the potential trade developing, review my pre-trade checklist, see where we are in relation to key areas like ONH, ONL, pHi, pLo, etc. and then decide if this will be a good trade to take. If I decide yes, I will have my finger on the mouse ready to enter my order right where my plan tells me to; nothing more nothing less. I will be patiently aggressive.

10:10

Looks like some Fedspeak is making the ES whippy here. I took a short trade at 9:39, I was seeing the ES lose momentum and got a short signal. I don't like early signals like this but it was a signal and I figured we could hit the ONL and get that stat out of the way. I took the short looking for a quick move. I waited 10 minutes and no move, just taking heat and what was looking like a loss up upward momentum wasn't turning into downside movement at all, just chopping higher. I took an exit at break even, which is what I should have done. 10 minutes after my exit the market rips higher, would have stopped me out for sure.



10:40

Pretty tight opening range. I like the idea of shorting this 65-66 area but the ONH just outside has been keeping me away. I'd much prefer a break of that first, then I could evaluate a trade. I'm certainly not going to buy this area unless there's a break and hold above 66-67. From what I'm seeing on the profile, this is going to be a hard zone to bust through.



11:10

That last dip was a 1.3x break of the IBL. ES has a less than 10% chance of now also breaking the IBH and that chance diminishes if we move lower. At this point (absent news) I think we either find a range or move lower. I will definitely be looking to short bounces. I would definitely like to trade long down around 51.50 - 53.50; there's a lot of good stuff that lines up at that area.

12:50 - Persistence and a perfect trade

Finally got a short to stick. I kept getting short signals and kept entering them but I was quickly scratching as there wasn't enough downside pressure. I thought it was stupid to keep trying to short but the chart was telling me that was the correct side. In the past, I would have eventually given up shorting until I missed the good one. This time I kept at it and got in the good one and held it. I told myself when I got filled that I would hold to a 2R target and then exit the trade; I would not exit before that and I would not get greedy and hold beyond that.

I would call this a perfect trade for myself based on where I am. I'm seeing prices at 2146 right now, so of course I could have had more profit if I'd held, but if I'd held price could have bounced back as well. I'm happy that I executed my plan and I'm happy that I did not give up on what my chart was telling me to do; I didn't try to outsmart my chart.



End of the Day

I lost a little focus after the DB news and move. I really wasn't keen on trading much after that. I did see a setup later in the day for a short though I didn't see it in time to potentially trade it - was a few minutes late. I did go ahead and paper trade it and it was good. Not sure I would have actually traded it anyway because of the wild action after the news hit.

Overall I'm pleased with my trading today. I suppose it's one of those days where I could look back and wonder how I missed out on so many available points, but at the time I didn't know the market was going to puke; if I did I would have held longer. I was aggressive with my entries today, I was focused on my charts and I did not trade what I thought, only what I saw. I was persistent in shorting and didn't let getting several scratch trades in a row stop me from trading my chart, even though it was tempting. Man, I would have been really pissed if I didn't take that last short trade that paid.

Although I did miss a good trade, I'm also okay with sitting out the afternoon session. Yes, I could have picked up more points but where I am at the moment, it's best to just watch or do something else. P&L wise I grabbed 5 points today, so that's a nice bonus. Better still I did well getting into and staying in my trades for the 2nd day in a row.

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 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
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ES Plan for 9/30

SR Zones I have marked:

Zones are unchanged, I'm happy with how price is reacting to each of these.

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
65.0 - 66.0
51.50 53.50
44.0 46.0
36.75 - 38.75
29.25 - 31.0
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
05.75 - 07.75

pHi: 2165.75
pLo: 2137.25
pCl: 2148.75

ONH: 2152.25 (so far)
ONL: 2135.75

VAH: 2165.75
VAL: 2147.25



Looking at a longer term perspective, we had a sort of channel moving up from the 9/12 lows but made a lower high and broke through the bottom trend line yesterday. We're back up above that trend line and into the channel now. It will be interesting to see today if we can stay in the channel area or if we break lower. While ES did break under the trend line it has not yet made a lower low which suggests we could be consolidating and forming a bit of a wedge - I would think that's most likely.

The overnight range was pretty large on the ES and we're making new pre-market highs as I'm writing this. I'm wondering if we might be in for a wild day today. Yesterday's value area is huge so if the market is going to test the extremes today there will be many trading opportunities. I really don't expect a snooze-fest 10 point range day today.

From here it seems like the ES is getting a little too extended already so I would say continued movement upward is very unlikely. We're moving into the low 50's which has been a good SR zone. If we happen to open close to this area I will be watching to see how it's handled, do we break above and hold or do we fail and move down. Above the 54 area there's not much holding the ES back from re-testing pHi/VAH at 65.75; I think this is possible today. There also could be juice for downside to 35.75 and beyond, though I suspect we'd need to move, test and fail higher first.

Should be an interesting day, potentially news driven again as much of the week has been. I am very happy with how I have traded over the last two days and I'm going to make every effort to go into the weekend on a good roll. I want to again anticipate my trade opportunities coming, which I have done well the last 2 days. I will then decide in advance whether or not I will enter a trade if I get a signal, so there will be no last second decision making; I should have a good 5-10 minutes to review and analyze to make my decision before hand. Once I get a signal, I want to be aggressive with my entry. I will then be patient and focus on my plan and my charts and manage the trade based on those two things alone. If I can do these things, I will be pleased regardless of my P&L for the day.

I can say that this is really getting a lot easier. That's not to say that I've got the markets figured out at all, or that I should start trading 20 contracts today, but following my process and plan is getting much easier to do. I read a saying recently and have it up as a desktop background at the moment, it says "Just stick with it...what seems so hard now will one day be your warm up." I'm not there yet - probably really far away actually. But, I can definitely see the day when this would be true. If I can just stick to my plan and process things will work out fine.

10:45

No trades yet today. I was expecting a wild day and that certainly hasn't happened yet. The ES has defended moves lower so far but there's not been enough buying interest to push prices higher. Things are moving bearish as far as I can see but that can change very quickly so I'm not going to get stuck in that mindset. I still think we're a bit overextended to the upside and would like to see more pushes lower that are met with aggressive buying to move higher - I do think this is a possibility.

I have anticipated a few trades this morning as potentially setting up. I did a good job of looking at my pre-trade checklist and determining in advance if I was going to place a trade before the signal would have come. On each occasion I never got a good signal from my charts so I just stayed out of the market.

Here's what I'm focusing on now, "Stay with the market, stay engaged. You don't know what will happen when." I'm not going to let myself get lulled into thinking that we're just going to chop around all day. Maybe we do, maybe we don't but I need to stay alert and ready in case something does play out.

11:25

Well, I thought we'd have a chance at the low 60's if we held above 52/53 and here we are. Looking at my charts I missed a chance to go long at 2156.0. I'm not sure how I could have missed that. I was flipping around to different time frame charts and looking at internals; I was leaning short at that time so I think I just overlooked it completely. Looking at the signal even just as we were approaching the IBH I thought, "damn, how'd I miss that one". I suppose I just wasn't staying focused on what was in front of me.

So now we're up hear the VAH and pHi and I'm absolutely not buying this level. I did think we were a bit overextended and needed a move down first (maybe that's why I didn't see my signal to buy). I still think we're needing a pullback and we're now really far from VWAP. If we get another push higher I'll be sizing it up for a potential short there, seeing if I can ride it down to either the 53 SR zone or VWAP. If we happen to crack 66.0 and hold I'll just stand aside; I really don't like the idea of buying up that high and so far away from VWAP.

13:15

So much chop. I played short at 2163.0 a bit ago but scratched it as price was just mulling around is this HVN. I like the concept of shorting here but I need a good reason and I'm not really seeing one. We're quite close to pHi and it seems like the ES wants to test up there but I don't know if it can make it. I like the short idea better if we bounce off that area first; as it stands we're just shuffling around here.

14:15

Got a long signal at 14:02 when price was at 2164.0. I ignored this signal because even with the tightest stop possible (62.25) my 1R target was 2165.75. As I'm writing this price did move up to that area but I'm still glad I skipped the signal. This is something that I saw developing and I asked myself if, given where we were at the time, I wanted to be long here. Since I would be getting long just under my SR zone I chose to skip the signal and not trade. Given what I saw as a possible limited upside I didn't think it was worth the risk; I really don't want to be getting into a trade where I think getting 1R out of it is pushing it. Even if the ES blows up to 2170 without looking back, I'll still be glad I stayed away from a long here.

15:05

The ES is just not in a mood to go down. I'm getting a lot of internal selling and lots of short signals, many right around my SR zone. I shorted several times looking for downside movement; scratched a few and took a 4 tick loss on my last one because I could just tell that either I get out there or my stop gets nailed; I made a good choice taking the 4 tick loss and avoiding a bigger one. My broker has been the big winner so far today. On paper I'm doing better than I am for real because of that first long trade this morning that I whiffed on; that might end up being the 1 good trade for me today. I stop trading at 15:30 and I still can't see myself taking a long position here so it's probably done for the day for me, though I'll keep watching and try another short if I see one. I'll give myself credit for being persistent today. It didn't pay off this time but it did pay off yesterday, and it will pay off more often than not.

End of Day

I will count today as a good day, though not perfect. I took the signals that I saw that I thought were valid, skipped the ones where I thought I was in a bad spot on the chart. I would have been very well off if I'd woke up at 3:00, threw on a long position and slept in. I really didn't see a 12+ hour trend day coming but that's basically what we got.

I did miss the one payoff trade, not because I was scared to take it but because I just didn't see it...wasn't paying close enough attention. I paid very close attention the rest of the day, trying to short various spots. I really didn't see any other places to get long and nothing that I look at said this would be a grinder up day. In fact, the main internal indicator I use was moving bearish all day long. I have seen that go bearish/bullish and price just ignore it but that's not the norm.

I am happy I took the trades I saw. I didn't get chewed up too bad, just 4 ticks and some commissions which are cheap enough. All in all a good end to the week, though not the perfect day I'm seeking.

The first part of next week already sucks...lots of stuff on Monday and a bit on Wednesday mid day. On Tuesday I'm staying home and trading from there.


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 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradingView
Trading: NQ, ES
 
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ES Plan for 10/3

SR Zones I have marked:

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
65.0 - 66.0
56.75 - 58.50
48.75 - 50.50
44.0 - 46.0
36.75 - 38.75
29.25 - 31.0
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
05.75 - 07.75

pHi: 2168.25
pLo: 2150.50
pCl: 2158.75

ONH: 2164.0
ONL: 2152.50

VAH: 2168.25
VAL: 2157.50

Trending lower before the open today so this has a sort of bearish feel. I have some overhead resistance starting at 56.75 so unless the ES moves back over that area before the open I'll be curious to see how prices react to this zone if the get up there.

I put A LOT of work in over the weekend reviewing my exit strategy. Currently, I have fixed exit points at 1R and 2R. I reviewed all of my trade entries (even the ones I didn't take but should have) and compared my 1R/2R strategy versus letting my chart dictate a logical exit. The logical chart exits produce a greater return (of course in hindsight) but I took a more mechanical approach to determining these exits. I've been pretty good about getting into trades over the last several days and I'm absolutely going to keep focusing on that. What I am going to try to do starting today is use my logical, chart-based approach to exiting trades. In general, this means that my trades will be on for a lot longer and I will not use a time stop - so that's much different. I think that if I can be disciplined and stick to this approach it will be much better for me, both P&L wise and mentally. On Friday I was hyper active and over traded; this was obvious after I wrapped up for the day and reviewed...it didn't take much time in reflecting to figure out that I had really over traded. Part of this is because I was exiting trades much too soon, then getting back in at a worse price versus holding a position based on what my charts were telling me.

So...that's the goal for today. Continue to work on being patiently aggressive and get into the trades that I see AND use a chart based approach for my exits.

I have an offsite meeting at 14:00 today that will last about an hour, so that will put a dent in my trading day but I will work to trade what I see prior to this. Given everything, I won't take any trades after 13:00 but I might put on a trade once I get back, if there's a setup.

12:05

Rough day so far with this tight range. I have entered 2 trades and the entries were good. The first I was away from my desk at the time the entry signaled so I placed orders where I should have and I got filled. I took heat right away and ended up moving my stop to break even once the trade went in my favor about a point. This is not part of my plan but I didn't feel comfortable. My break even stop got hit so I was out of the trade but did paper trade the rest according to my plan. I didn't miss much points wise but I did a bad thing by not following my plan start to finish.

I entered a short trade at 11:19; I was confident getting in and did not hesitate. Again, I immediately took heat that came kind of close to my stop, which sucked. About 25 minutes later price came back down and was in my favor by about a point again, so what did I do? Yes, I moved my stop to break even so I would not be able to take a loss. I got stopped out at break even and eventually the trade was a scratch anyway per my plan but I again made an error.

I'm not going to crush myself for messing up twice already. I've held a lot longer than I normally do and longer than I'm used to holding but I really need to get better with my discipline on my exits. I have not missed a big trade so far today but I know that if I keep this up I absolutely will and I will be super-pissed at myself.

End of Day

I was flat for the day today taking a couple of trades. The market didn't really have much momentum early today and that definitely does not fit well with my strategy. I was away from my office for a bit this afternoon in an offsite meeting so I didn't trade. Looking at the action when I got back there were a few trades that I could have taken, 1 stop and a couple of small winners. The stop was immediate and was only by a couple of ticks so that could be down to my stop placement rules and the winners were pretty quick to pay - nothing like this morning.

Tomorrow I will be trading from home for the day so that should be interesting; there won't be any distractions from work but of course there's plenty of things around the house to distract me. Wednesday I have a mid-day meeting so that is not convenient but so far Thursday and Friday are mostly clear. I suppose there's a high probability that as the week moves closer to the NFP number the quieter things will get. The range today (assuming we don't break it in the next 8 minutes) was pretty paltry at only 10 points. Even so, there was opportunity for me to trade, especially in the afternoon.

Tonight I will do a lot of thinking about my emotions and working to accept them but at the same time not let them take over the controls and spoil my trading plan. I'm quite happy that I am still getting into trades well but my intra-trade execution was way off today. I almost wish I would have exited early and there was a big move just after, so I could feel that pain again. It wasn't so long ago that I did such a thing so one of the things I'm going to do tonight is go back to that time and relive that moment. I want to really focus on how upsetting and disappointing that was so that I am less tempted to make errors tomorrow.

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 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradingView
Trading: NQ, ES
 
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Posts: 262 since Aug 2016
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ES Plan for 10/4

SR Zones I have marked:

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
65.0 - 66.50
56.25 - 58.25
48.25 - 50.25
43.25 - 45.25
36.75 - 38.75
29.25 - 31.0
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
05.75 - 07.75

pHi: 2156.75
pLo: 2146.75
pCl: 2153.50

ONH: 2159.75
ONL: 2152.25

VAH: 2154.25
VAL: 2150.0

The ES looks to be opening pretty close to yesterday's close and around yesterday's tight value area. If I had to place a wager, it would be on another tight range day as we're getting bogged down in a very high volume area. There is a definite resistance area in the high 60's/low 70's and in general the ES is in an uptrend since the 9/12 low. The ES is definitely struggling to make higher highs but is also not going down easily. I suppose in a classical chart pattern sense we're in an ascending triangle.

Regardless of the longer term stuff, my plan for today is the same as always - get into my trades being patiently aggressive (which I've been able to do well for 4 days in a row now) and STAY IN THE TRADE according to my trading plan. Staying with the trade will be probably be a real challenge today but I'm going to do my best. I'm trading from home today so there will be less distractions. I'll probably take advantage of getting away from my trading screen when I put a trade on so I won't be tempted to fiddle. This isn't something I can easily do at work.

End of Day

Man, what an awful day. I just could not get into my trades today, I was very skeptical. I had 2 short signals, one in the morning and the other just after 13:00; both were right near the current LOD. I just kept thinking, "I really don't want to short the LOD". What I should have been thinking was, "Hey dude, just follow the damn plan already". The result was 2 nice profits while I sat watching. I got a long signal just before 14:00; I did trade that but not according to my plan - got in late and moved my stops to break even really early. This long, trading according to my plan, was a stop which I recorded as such in my spreadsheet. I got another long signal at 15:16 and I really thought about taking that trade, and I had many chances to get in even at a better than signal price. I just wouldn't do it; I was too scared of a loss. Instead of just focusing on my plan I was thinking about the wrong things and blew it. The ES rallied nicely from there and that trade was also profitable. So, for my paper trades today 3 were profitable and 1 was a stop; the day overall was profitable. I was also profitable but only 2 ticks.

I really messed up today; today was a step in the wrong direction for me. I had been doing very well getting into trades but today I just didn't trust my plan. I have no reason to trust myself more than my plan, none whatsoever. But still today, I thought I knew better than my plan which is a result of hundreds, maybe thousands of hours of research, testing and live trading. I'm working on this stuff 10-12 hours per day plus time on weekends and yet when the bullets start flying I don't trust what I've worked so hard on. I really don't get it.

I was completely out of my normal routine today, trading from home. That's no reason to just chuck my trading plan out the window and do whatever. I have been doing better before today so I'm going to go back to work tomorrow and get my routine back and just look at today as an anomaly, a one off. I'm going to really focus on how much I've put into my trading plan and how well it can work if it's executed without error.

I was listening to a Podcast with Adam Grimes last night and he mentioned that you have to put yourself into different roles as a trader. Off hours you are a developer, researcher and are working to design your strategy, system or plan. It's during this time that you can evaluate yourself with your win, loss rate and your P&L. During trading, you are an order executor and your evaluation is based on how well you executed the trading plan. A 3rd role you need to fill is the boss of both of those people. I really need to kick my order executing ass because today was totally unacceptable.

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 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradingView
Trading: NQ, ES
 
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Posts: 262 since Aug 2016
Thanks: 186 given, 365 received

ES Plan for 10/4

SR Zones I have marked:

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
65.0 - 66.50
56.75 - 58.50
48.75 - 50.50
44.0 - 46.0
36.75 - 38.75
29.25 - 31.0
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
05.75 - 07.75

pHi: 2158.25
pLo: 2136.0
pCl: 2144.75

ONH: 2151.25
ONL: 2141.0

VAH: 2157.75
VAL: 2143.50

Economic news at 10:00 and 10:30 but nothing beyond that. No expectations going into today. I had a pretty horrible day yesterday trying to follow my plan. This morning has been good, more normal. I will make a genuine effort to just be an order entry clerk today and follow my plan.

I've been rating myself on getting into and out of trades but I've modified it at this point to add a few more levels. It's a 4 point system. I get 2 points for proper entry, 1 point for a proper first scale out and 1 point for a proper second scale out. I will implement this starting today and track my progress.

Today I will be pretty busy late morning/early afternoon but the rest of the day looks fairly clear.

12:00

Very narrow range so far today. I have had 2 trading signals, got into both. The second I was slightly late because I was just double checking and only got 1 of 2 fills. I'm not counting that against myself as I was as quick as I should have been; I didn't stall because I was nervous or anything. I did exit that trade early though because of the volume spike at 11:45; I wasn't a fan of that so I bailed - I should have just held but I didn't. My first trade was executed as it should have been; I did miss some profit opportunity but holding longer would have been contrary to my plan so it's fine. So far on the day, according to my new trade evaluation I'm at 75%. Yesterday I was at 0% so it's better.

I'm not going to try to guess that the market will be narrow for the rest of the day; I have no idea. I'm going to continue to try to trade like I have no idea and just follow my charts.

14:40

I'm going to wrap it up for the day. The ES today has been extremely choppy and I just can't get with that. My trade entries are based on momentum and there is none today. It's been a 7.25 point range and I just can't trade that.

I did take a short at 13:26; I get an A+ for entry on that one. It was a painful trade as I took heat right away and basically the price never came back to my entry. I watched the screen for most of the trade, only stepping away for a few minutes. I'm not sure if that was a good idea or not but I survived. I considered many times taking a small loss because I was pretty sure my stop, which was a bit above the HOD, was going to get nailed. I refrained and kept in the trade. After close to 70 minutes of suck there was a bit of a flush and I took a 2 tick loss and got out of the trade. I was pretty sure I was doing the wrong thing and the ES would go down 10 points just after I exited but so far it has not and if it does I don't care at this point. I'm glad I stuck with the trade for a while and I'm also glad I'm out.

End of Day

I took a break the rest of the day and didn't watch the ES much. I ended the day down 2 ticks which is fine given the type of day it was. There are some narrow range days where my style does fine but this was just not one of them. That's okay, I understand that not every day will be good and will fit my trading style/plan.

In terms of how I traded today, I did pretty well. Using my new point system I scored an 83%, only making an error on my two scales on my first trade. In a sense today was easy because there wasn't any profit opportunity for me so all I could do is get into a trade, take heat and hold on. My last trade I exited with a small loss but on paper I kept it on since it didn't get to my entry price. On paper, my stop loss was hit so even though my exit was outside of my plan, I gave the ES over an hour to do something besides keep me offside and that's all that was happening. At this moment I think that taking the small loss was prudent. At the time I took my exit, there was nothing on my chart giving me a reason to think that the ES would continue lower at that time.

I suppose tomorrow could be just as bad but I won't assume; I don't know what the market will do. I'll be happy with my performance today, do my usual review tonight and prepare tomorrow like today never happened.

Edit: Going back through my trades now and I think, according to my plan, I should have taken a small loss and reversed long on the short trade that lasted so long. I now see a valid long signal coming in the middle of that trade and in creating my plan, it specifically says "If the trade is offside and there is an opposite signal, reverse the trade at a loss and take the opposite trade." I created this rule on back testing but it so rarely comes up...I wasn't paying close enough attention.

Cutting the short at a small loss and reversing long resulted in an overall 2 tick profit on the exchange, so not a big deal but it is something that I didn't do properly upon further review.

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 Comeback King 
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Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradingView
Trading: NQ, ES
 
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Posts: 262 since Aug 2016
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ES Plan for 10/6

SR Zones I have marked:

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
64.0 - 65.50
57.75 - 59.50
48.75 - 50.50
44.0 - 46.0
36.75 - 38.75
29.25 - 31.0
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
05.75 - 07.75

pHi: 2158.0
pLo: 2149.75
pCl: 2153.50

ONH: 2155.75
ONL: 2147.50

VAH: 2155.50
VAL: 2152.50

Unemployment report at 8:30 wasn't anything unusual and the ES has not done much off of it yet. By the looks of things we are likely to open at the lower end of prior day value and range and very close to an SR zone I have marked.

I'm not of the opinion that the ES has to be quiet with a narrow range today just because NFP is tomorrow. I'm aware that this can happen but there have been plenty of good range days on the day before NFP.

I put in about 3 hours of studying and back testing last night. I don't have a way to systematically back test so I do it manually and it takes a bit longer. I don't know that I would perform systematic back tests even if I could because I think I learn a lot by going through it manually. The biggest benefits from manually back testing for me are getting a better feel for what my plan looks like and building confidence in my plan by looking at it under different market environments. The more I can apply my plan in a practice environment the more I will be able to just react to the things I see without having to stop and think about them. I'm well off from this but I feel it's important for me to continue to work so I can make progress. In the end, there is no guarantee that I will ever be successful in trading - I could lose money until I either run out or give up. But if that is my eventuality I want to make sure I've put in all the work that I possibly can and given it my best effort. I do think (based on what I see) that if I just execute my plan that I will be in good shape.

Yesterday I scored an 83% on my entries. That would be lower if I went back and revised it to include the reversal that I didn't take (it would be a 62%). I don't expect to all of a sudden go to 100% and stay there from now on; that's probably not realistic. But, I see no reason not to try to get into, and stay in each and every signal I see today. I've really been doing a lot better getting into trades, and only the trades that fit my system - not freelancing, so in that sense my discipline is definitely improving. I feel very good about this, especially when looking back at what I was doing - it's a big change. I really need to keep focusing on the tools that I have and use them to keep my emotions from letting me make poor decisions.

I'm really going to focus on just being the order clerk today. I spent a good deal of time last night sa the developer and a little time as the boss, so today it's time to put the order clerk hat on and just trade the plan. If it sucks, I'll let the developer take the heat.

10:40

I'm at 50% effectiveness so far. I've had 2 signals and scalped out of both. It's so choppy right now and I'm having a hard time trusting what I'm seeing. I was initially encouraged by the wider than yesterday opening range, and the ES might yet make a larger move but so far it's been tight. Part of my trepidation is that the ES is caught right in the middle of two tight SR zones I have marked, higher resistance starting at 2148.50 and lower support starting at 2145.25. I just can't see good R by trading in this zone right now.

Being that I'm at 50% I might take a break for the rest of the morning and see what plays out. If the ES can't break outside of this narrow range I just won't be trading it today.

11:20

Of course, the moment I decide to take a break from putting trades on the market actually makes a move outside of range. I know I'm not cursed by it sure feels like it sometimes.

Here's a picture of my SR zones and the action so far today, pretty much stuck right in the middle.



13:00

My decision to sit out for a bit cost me. This was a conscious decision to skip some trades but it turned out to be a poor one. I really should have just stuck with the plan and let everything resolve itself. As it turned out I missed a nice long play that would have put some money into my account. I keep learning the lessons the hard way.

End of Day

I really made an effort to get my trades on today but I basically just wore down at the worst time. I ended up at 43% for my grade getting into and out of trades based on my plan. Most of the poor grade was down to me skipping trades a few times. Unfortunately for me I ended up skipping the 1 trade that was profitable. I know that I just need to trade the plan no matter what, taking either all of the trades or none of the trades and accepting the consequences either way. I wasn't cherry picking the trades to take today, I just decided to sit out because it was choppy. The problem that presents is that I have no idea when something will break out, and if I am choosing to sit out I run the risk of missing out - exactly what happened today.

I'm sure some people are able to play this market like a fiddle and make good money, but the way my trading plan is constructed this just chews me up. Based on my plan today was overall profitable because of 1 good trade out of the 8 signals I got. On a normal day, I get between 2 and 4 signals; 5 is rare. There have been some periods where this is slightly higher but those are outliers. Today, having reached 4 signals before noon was an indication that I was not in sync with the market today. I realized and acknowledged this sooner than that and as it were, missed the 1 good trade. I did continue to take trades in the afternoon - after skipping a few more. I took some crappy looking trades, things that I would not have taken if I were cherry picking. I figured at best I'd be down commissions and at worst I'd catch the wrong side and end up stopped out but I took the trades anyway because that's what I'm supposed to be doing. In the end, I just spent money on some commissions but didn't lose points - and I got to practice getting into and staying in trades until my plan tells me it's time to leave.

So, all in all the day wasn't a total waste because I got some good practice in and it only cost me a little money. I also learned, AGAIN, that I just need to take all of my trades like a dumb robot/order entry clerk during the day and let the smart human sift through the remains that night. Even though I scored pretty low on my new ratings system today, and even though I missed out on some profits, I feel okay at the end of it. I took more trades than I did yesterday, and I felt more comfortable while I was in them. I was also left with very little to do at work today, which was a bit of a curse because I basically was left just watching the DOM and T&S a lot. I took a few walks and watched some Youtube while my trades were on to try to keep myself doing something else; that mostly worked.

One day this is going to click. One day I'm going to have a day where my style is in sync with the market at the same time that I am being a good dumb robot just trading my plan. I realize that day will never happen unless I'm being a compliant good dumb robot.

The good news (if it really is) was that my SR zones contained price pretty well today.


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 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradingView
Trading: NQ, ES
 
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ES Plan for 10/7

SR Zones I have marked:

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
64.0 - 65.50
57.75 - 59.50
48.50 - 50.25
43.25 - 45.25
36.75 - 38.75
29.25 - 31.0
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
5.75 - 7.75

pHi: 2157.25
pLo: 2143.25
pCl: 2156.50

ONH: 2161.50
ONL: 2148.0

VAH: 2157.25
VAL: 2147.75

About 30 minutes from the jobs report. I do like trading pre-market news events if they move so hopefully we get a surprise number and get a good reaction. If the number is good I would not be shocked to see the market take a dive as that would lead to a stronger perceived chance of a rate increase. That's all speculation of course, I'll just trade what I see.

I have what looks to be a pretty quiet day at work. I'm in Florida but on the other side away from Matthew so it's actually not too bad here. I really, really just want to focus on trading my plan without error today. I've been doing much better lately as compared to many weeks ago (night and day really) so I'll just keep working at it today; maybe today is the day that everything clicks.

Jobs report was 156K versus 168K consensus but did increase from last month. The news reaction on the ES did not do what I wanted it to do so I didn't trade it. It's interesting that this is the last jobs report release before the next FOMC meeting.

End of Day

Terrible day. I did follow my plan but I was on the wrong side of the market all day, got stopped out twice and quit trading for real. Kept paper trading and got stopped out 2 more times after that. Looking back one of my entries was a little sketchy and I could have skipped that but that's also hindsight - much easier.

I'm disappointed that today sucked, but it was the first losing day of the week and losing days are part of the deal.

Hopefully next week I will be able to follow my plan, and hopefully it will work better. I'm going to go back over my entries and exits from this week and do some back testing from different periods over the weekend and on Monday since the market is closed.

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 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradingView
Trading: NQ, ES
 
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ES Plan for 10/10

SR Zones I have marked:

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
64.0 - 65.50
57.75 - 59.50
48.50 - 50.25
43.25 - 45.25
36.75 - 38.75
29.25 - 31.0
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
5.75 - 7.75

pHi:
pLo:
pCl:

ONH:
ONL:

VAH:
VAL:

Same zones. I'm not expecting much today with the holiday even though markets are open. I'll keep an eye out in case anything shakes out but I'm not really looking to trade today.

End of Day

No trades today. There were a couple of setups but these occurred in the chop zone and I wasn't taking anything there. I got quite a bit of other stuff done while keeping one eye on the ES...no reason for me to trade today so I'm glad I saved myself some possible frustration and just watched.

Tomorrow will be better.

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 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradingView
Trading: NQ, ES
 
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Posts: 262 since Aug 2016
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ES Plan for 10/11

SR Zones I have marked:

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
64.0 - 65.50
59.75 - 61.50
50.25 - 52.25
43.75 - 45.75
36.75 - 38.75
29.25 - 31.0
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
5.75 - 7.75

pHi: 2163.50
pLo: 2156.25
pCl: 2159.25

ONH: 2160.75
ONL: 2151.75

No important economic data today but there are the FOMC minutes tomorrow at 2:00. ATR has been on the decline since 9/29 and it seems the biggest mover has been DB. I don't anticipate another dead day like yesterday but it also would not surprise me. At some point we will need to shit or get off the pot here and make a bigger move.

It's interesting that many times since late September the ES has dipped into the 30's and been bought and at the same time cracking 70 has been impossible. Breaking outside of the composite VA between 38.25 and 59.0 just isn't sticking, even when it's news driven.

As the ES is pretty close to the upper end of that range now, I'll be keeping a close eye on it. Selling around the ONH/pHi seems pretty attractive.

I think I've done a nice job as of late getting into trades. I have re-reviewed Friday many times and looking back I might have made different decisions but that's very clear to see in hindsight. There is such a delicate balance between just blindly taking trading entries my charts give me and applying some discretion in that approach. I'm not sure I'm good enough at this stage to intelligently apply discretion, as it seems when I do I end up missing winners (almost exclusively). When I paper trade I only paper trade the signals, I do not apply discretion. So...despite a poor Friday I'll just keep doing that (or at least try to) and see how it goes.

I did more back testing on older contracts and I still have not found anything out of order. I try to go slowly, bar by bar and see the signals developing. I fear, and something I'm really trying to avoid, is not taking trading signals that would have resulted in a stop loss - either by accident or unconsciously. I'd rather wreck my strategy with back testing than discover it sucks while live trading it. I'm pretty sure I'm past that as I've been live trading it for many months now, but it's still something I am cautious of.

Anyway...same goal today as normal; just get into and manage each trade according to my plan. Some days are actually pretty straight forward in that regard while other days chop around a lot and make decisions much more difficult as it's just harder to "read" what's going on.

End of Day

No trades today, a few signals popped up so I paper traded them (2 longs early and 1 short late). I really didn't like the idea of going long in the morning nor did I like the idea of shorting in the afternoon. On paper, I had 1 hit and 2 stops for a total 6 tick loss today. That seems pretty stupid considering we had a 32 point range but it is what it is, sometimes I get good trades to take and sometimes I don't.

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 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradingView
Trading: NQ, ES
 
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Posts: 262 since Aug 2016
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ES Plan for 10/12

SR Zones I have marked:

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
64.0 - 65.50
59.75 - 61.50
50.25 - 52.25
42.50 - 44.50
36.50 - 38.25
27.25 - 29.25
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
5.75 - 7.75

pHi: 2153.75
pLo: 2121.75
pCl: 2134.50

ONH: 2140.75
ONL: 2129.0 (so far)

Fed minutes at 2:00. I have time to trade this morning but will be very busy and away from my screens this afternoon. A few ways to go from here but there's a wide VA from yesterday so we could easily test the extremes today and consolidate inside. I would also not be surprised to see another move down that would suck in more shorts. If that happens I could see a rally by the end of the week.

Either way I'll just try to stick to trading my plan.

11:00

Got short at 2134.0 like my plan called for, there was a higher high with a lower high on my momentum indicator and this occurred at an SR zone. The price moved a little and I moved my stop to BE way before I should have been doing so. I got stopped out for a scratch only to see price move lower.

On paper my stop is now at break even because that's part of my written plan. On this one I didn't fully follow my written plan. Friday's lumps are still fresh in my mind and that is still there; I was thinking about the "what if I get stopped out" the entire time, even when I put the trade on...I was trading my P&L.

End of Day

Only the 1 trade, I was busy in the afternoon. My calendar is pretty free tomorrow so hopefully I will be able to do better.

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 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradingView
Trading: NQ, ES
 
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Posts: 262 since Aug 2016
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ES Plan for 10/13

SR Zones I have marked:

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
64.0 - 65.50
59.75 - 61.50
50.25 - 52.25
42.50 - 44.50
36.50 - 38.25
27.25 - 29.25
21.75 - 23.75
13.50 - 15.50
5.75 - 7.75

pHi: 2139.50
pLo: 2126.25
pCl: 2131.50

ONH: 2131.0
ONL: 2113.50

The ES really took a dive overnight. Seems like 22 would be a good place to think about a short and if not somewhere around 28. Who knows though.

End of Day

Not a great day overall...just not too many setups for me to trade. I did take a short trade in the morning but bailed at break even too early. This eventually was a break even trade but I didn't stick to my plan at all.

I only made the 1 trade today even though I had 3 signals...all shorts. Once we broke back above 20 just after 12:30 I really stopped liking the idea of trading today as neither selling or buying seemed to make any sense to me.

I did paper trade in real time the setups from my plan, overall it was a -3.0 day from that stand point. I don't mind that at all really because this week has been very odd to me. Monday was a no trade day, Tuesday was trending most of the day, Wednesday was super choppy and today was basically a trend day after 10:00. Based on the size of the gap down today, there was about a 5% chance for the ES to make it back to yesterday's close and it did - so that's very unusual.

From the stand point of my trading plan, I'm okay with losing 3 points today; that's a very small loss. I have been doing a lot of back testing both during the day and in the evening lately and that's been quite helpful for me to develop a deeper understanding of what the plan is and how it fits into different market types. I've back tested weeks that look a lot like this in terms of performance; flat to down days for many days in a row and then there will be a very good day. The down days have not been huge for the most part and the good days more than make up for them. I really hope I can get in a better place mentally to get into and stay in trades so I can take advantage of the next good day, whenever that will be.

Part of the thing that's hard for me is to grind out the sideways or down days to get to the good day or days. I fully understand that I need to just keep putting trades on according to my plan, grinding out the slop so I can be in the market when the good days hit but that's proven easier understood than done.

I'm going to be extremely busy tonight with kid functions at school and allocating the rest of my time to people and not things tonight so maybe not looking at the market will be helpful in some way...perhaps I've spent too much time looking at screens this week. I hope to get some rest tonight, get up early tomorrow and smash some iron, do my morning routine and come in ready to put on (and keep on) trades like I need to be doing.

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 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradingView
Trading: NQ, ES
 
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Posts: 262 since Aug 2016
Thanks: 186 given, 365 received

ES Plan for 10/14

SR Zones I have marked:

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
64.0 - 65.50
60.0 - 61.50
50.25 - 52.25
42.50 - 44.50
37.25 - 39.0
27.25 - 29.25
21.75 - 23.75
14.25 - 16.0
5.75 - 7.75

pHi: 2132.25
pLo: 2107.75
pCl: 2126.50

ONH: 2136.50
ONL: 2122.25

Nice bullish action overnight and this morning. It's interesting that the pullback this morning stopped at 2132.0, just 1 tick away from pHi. Things look to be set for a nice move up today to I'll be cautious; I could see a move up early get sold off as too many people rush in to get long. I'll still work to trade without bias and just trade what the charts tell me.

I've had an extremely poor week so far so I'd like to get 1 good trading day in this week and today is my last chance.

11:00

First setup of the day was a short at 2141.25. I was on the phone at the time but I did have a chance to get into the trade and had several chances later to get in at 41.25 or a little higher. I just didn't. This is now +6 to the good side and it's one I basically skipped for no good reason. I really need to get a hold of myself this weekend because I can't believe how poorly I have traded this week. It all stems from last Friday where I got stopped out on every trade; my fear of losing was basically confirmed in a big way last Friday and now I'm skittish about getting into trades again. I need to get over this hump and just believe in my charts and believe in my plan so I can start putting trades on again and try to keep them on according to my plan. Not being able to get myself under control mentally is very frustrating and physically and mentally exhausting...it's been a really rough week and I can feel it because I've been tired and lethargic all week.



End of Day

Basically what I figured would happen today happened. Just talking about my trading plan and paper trades for the week since that's mostly all that I have done (only 2 actual trades) I came into Friday with negative points for the week but only just. I had a feeling that my setups would be in sync with the ES today because I keep seeing this pattern over and over as I go deeper with my back testing; there are many weeks when there is 1 really good day and other days are so-so.

Knowing this, I was still unable to get any trades on today - zero. The first short trade ended up being +8.75. I had my orders in for that trade, my sell order and stop loss already waiting and I pulled it as price got close. I had many chances to get back in but I was afraid price would run right through me and tag my stop. Of course, there was no evidence of this anywhere on my chart, it was just a fear that was stuck in my head. The order was only 1 contract, so I can't really be trading any smaller.

After missing the good trade I figured I should just stop trying to actually trade for the rest of the day and just paper trade my setups. I figured what if the rest of the trades all added up to a 6 point loss, there I would be with a losing day for real and a winning day on paper...that would be my luck.

The rest of the day there were 3 entry points, 1 stop loss and 2 winners. I keep looking back at my live trading results and those jive really well with my back tested results - if I mixed them up I couldn't tell one from other in terms of weekly results. I'm going to continue back testing because I do think I'm getting a lot out of that, and if there's a period where there are big losses I'd like to catch it and determine the difference.

But going forward I really need to do better. I was doing pretty well and last Friday messed me up - and it was only 1 day. I feel like I'm so fragile mentally that any little thing will get me spooked. I'll have to do some thinking over the weekend about how to best approach this moving forward. I'm putting forth a great deal of effort 7 days a week trying to get this right and this week it seems like it all just fell apart and I'm basically starting over. I'm not doing so from a trading plan perspective, that's still okay but from a mental stand point I'm probably worse off than before, and just because of 1 day where I got stopped out a few times. I would kind of understand that better if I kept moving my stops back and took a 20 point loss or something but I didn't; I kept my stops where they were and kept my losses small but it's still eating at me. This whole wanting to be correct and afraid of being wrong is really strong in my mind and it's proving difficult to work around.

I really wish I could just completely disconnect myself from my results and my P&L. I know that what I really need to do is connect myself to my adherence to my trading plan, I get that part from an intellectual point of view but I really struggled this week putting that into practice.

I am glad that today turned out how I suspected it would because that does reaffirm my belief in my trading edge. I listen to a lot of trading podcasts and I listen to the ones that resonate with me over and over and over again. Some I've probably listed to over 100 times (just the meat of it). I suppose I'll give those a listen again over the weekend and try to refocus.

I also need to get back to my morning routine. I didn't follow that 100% this week and it felt like I was caught in a negative feedback loop. Generally I get up early and hit the iron for a bit, eat, hang out with the kids, meditate, etc. I slept in too late every day this week and didn't get any lifting in at all. Perhaps that's got something to do with my lack of discipline. I think I probably need every little detail in it's exact place to have a shot at getting this right.

Here's the trade I skipped in the afternoon on purpose. On paper, I caught a long at 32.50 until I got a reversal signal at 34.50 and went short. That sequence was good for 6.25 points so overall Friday was a good one.


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KBal
Evans, GA
 
 
Posts: 31 since Sep 2016
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Just read your journal entry from today and I can identify with your not being able to get into trades due to being stopped out. It has happened to me alot over the past few weeks and it's demoralizing and can really effect your trading overall.

I've tried widening my stops or removing them alltogether and that rarely works out without a defined risk amount your mind, or my mind and emotions force me out at the worst possible times.

I too saw the strenth overnight and put on an ES 2130 Call option trade and made $100 on it overnight. If I hadn't set the smallest profit target in the world it would have been a 1K trade by morning.

I took it again near mid-day and make another $175 but I knew it would top out and could have went short and should have. It's just been the most difficult thing for me to open up and let my profits run.

Take for instance last night when the DX gapped up on open, I bought 1 contract, and it sold down to fill the gap so I bought 3 more. I was down $300 at one point. Then suddenly it took off and I was profitable by the same amount. It pulled back to test it's 20 PMA and I freaked out and sold for $120 win. If I had held for about 5 more mins it took off again and rallied $500 per contract. I've traded the DX before and made money on it. Had 2K days on it. But for some reason I have just been knocking myself out of them lately.

I am working on getting past this. Past cutting my profits short, and past letting my losses run. I'm working on selling tops and buying bottoms and I'm crafting a plan to trade over a longer term time period, so I won't be so glued to the screen freaking out about every little move. I plan on setting a defined wider risk, and a longer term target to accomplish this. Also considering starting out with the mini contracts for this. So instead of a $25 or $15 tick I'll be taking a $1.25 or $5.00 Tick.

But just thought I'd share that since I enjoyed your post and hope that you can get past it. I had a good trade today that helped me re-gain some confidence. I posted it in my journal. Here.

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 Comeback King 
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Thanks man for the comment, I took a look at your log as well and I'll definitely be following it.

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  #72 (permalink)
 Comeback King 
Tampa, FL/USA
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradingView
Trading: NQ, ES
 
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Posts: 262 since Aug 2016
Thanks: 186 given, 365 received

ES Plan for 10/17

SR Zones I have marked:

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
64.0 - 65.50
60.0 - 61.50
50.25 - 52.25
42.50 - 44.50
37.25 - 39.0
21.75 - 23.75
14.25 - 16.0
5.75 - 7.75

pHi: 2143.25
pLo: 2126.50
pCl: 2127.0

ONH: 2128.75
ONL: 2116.75

ES looks to open near the bottom of Friday's VA and near to or below Friday's low and close. It seems like there's a possibility we could stay range bound in the zone for a while as there's a ton of volume on the composite profile up to 2137 or so. It seems like upward movement would be slow over the next 10 points while downside movement could come quickly from this point.

I'm really going to focus today on distancing myself from my P&L and not trading scared. I have the tools, and I did a lot of mental work over the weekend to prepare for this week.

Pretty narrow range day, not much opportunity for me. I took 1 trade in the morning (short), I actually missed it develop because I was doing other stuff but when I saw it I took my time to review and make sure I wasn't making a mistake. I put my order in where the price had signaled and didn't chase an entry, which isn't a big deal since I never chase entries. I did get filled and the trade ran against me immediately and in that time I was offside and got a long signal. This actually pissed me off a little because while these do happen, it's pretty rare - so just my luck. In this situations I can either stick with my current trade or reverse and take a small loss; it kind of depends on the larger context and is a judgement call. I decided to just stick with the short. The ES got within a tick or two of my stop but could not push higher and I eventually scratched the trade. The one thing I did correctly was to set a good stop that was outside the noise; doing this allowed me to scratch the trade and avoid a loss.

I had 2 more signals in the afternoon but because of the slow day and range I decided to skip them. One was a small winner and the other was a break even. I really should have traded those but I just wasn't feeling it at that time.

Overall, a pretty poor day all around. I only executed on 1 of 3 trades today and that's bad. I'll try to do better tomorrow.

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 Comeback King 
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ES Plan for 10/18

SR Zones I have marked:

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
64.0 - 65.50
60.0 - 61.50
50.25 - 52.25
42.50 - 44.50
37.25 - 39.0
14.25 - 16.0
5.75 - 7.75

I have removed a few SR zones that last two days between 21 and 29 because the ES has just chopped those areas too much, there's no longer a spot of lower volume there.

pHi: 2130.0
pLo: 2117.75
pCl: 2123.25

ONH: 2139.75 (so far)
ONL: 2121.25

Looks to be a nice gap up open today for the ES. Based on what looks to be the gap size, there is around a 15% chance that the gap will be closed today, defined as price hitting pClose at 2123.25. Right now the ES is trading right around an SR zone I have marked between 2137.25 and 2139.0. I also have a longer term LVN marked at 2137.0 so I will be watching this area closely if the ES ends up opening around here. I would look for this to hold to confirm higher prices. I think that there is a danger of the ES falling back below 35 and getting pulled back into the recent trading range we've been stuck in.

Same plan today...don't care about P&L, just trade my chart, etc.

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 Comeback King 
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10/18 End of Day

I ended up not trading at all yesterday. I cracked a tooth in the back of my mouth some time ago and I've been procrastinating going to the dentist to get it fixed. I finally made an appointment as it had been starting to hurt a lot more, and yesterday I was sorry I put it off for so long. I was really unable to concentrate on anything and had to go home, take 2 Advil which I never do, put ice on my face and hope the pain would go away - which it finally did.

I have a few small windows to trade today but I'm pretty busy mid-day and I go to the dentist this afternoon, so we will see.

I had a good looking setup yesterday but it involved pre-market action so I skipped it, which I'm okay with. I have started to look a little at trades where I'm entering very early and using pre-market data but I've yet to do any quantitative analysis so I don't know if there's an edge there or not. I suspect there would be but I'm not comfortable getting into these types of trades until I can back test for a while and see the results on paper. This one would have worked out well.


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 Comeback King 
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ES Plan for 10/19

SR Zones I have marked:

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
64.0 - 65.50
60.0 - 61.50
50.25 - 52.25
44.0 - 46.0
38.0 - 40.0
14.25 - 16.0
5.75 - 7.75

I have removed a few SR zones that last two days between 21 and 29 because the ES has just chopped those areas too much, there's no longer a spot of lower volume there.

pHi: 2139.25
pLo: 2129.0
pCl: 2131.75

ONH: 2137.25
ONL: 2126.50

Looks like the ES will open inside of yesterday's VA but to the upper end of it. Perhaps we will see a break either side of yesterdays VA or range and get some movement today. I do have a few areas of resistance marked just above so there might be a good opportunity to sell in this area if price still cannot break through.

End of Day

I had a pretty busy day today but had a shot at a long entry at 10:12. I hesitated a bit but I did put in an order eventually and pulled it after a few minutes - if I had left it I might have been filled. If I had not hesitated I would have been filled...I just sat there looking at the open price spot on the DOM but just didn't want to push the button. I'm basically back to no confidence again. This long trade ended up +5.75 based on my exit plan, so not bad. The rest of the day there were no setups as the ES was in some low range chop.

I went to the dentist and I get to go back tomorrow to have my wisdom teeth extracted, something I should have done a long time ago probably. I probably won't trade tomorrow at all as the procedure is in the morning but maybe I can trade on Friday. Maybe I'll have some confidence in what I'm doing at some point as well.

This afternoon I downloaded a Monte Carlo calculator for Excel and put in all of my back tested trades as well as my paper trades. The results are good and this further gives me no excuses to be so scared about trading my plan. I really hope I can at some point overcome this fear that I have because really there is no reason for it to exist. I'm not trading to pay bills or fund retirement or anything like that. If I lose my account, I can fund it again - several more times actually. The money I have set aside is all extra money and it's just parked right now, not doing much at all. I don't have my entire trading capital parked with my broker, incidentally - in case something happens to my broker I'll still have trading capital to put with another broker. I really don't know why I can't just say, "F#$% It" and just put these trades on and keep them on. In the evening, it's easy for me to tell myself that the next day I will do just that. In the morning on my drive into work, it's easy for me to tell my self I will do just that. Before the market opens, no problem. Sometimes on my first trade, no problem. But at some point that disintegrates into fear and I fall back into this bad habit that I have developed. I suppose the anchor is the habit, and the habit is what I need to break. I have thought about turning trading into kind of a role playing thing, where before I enter a trade I can imagine myself playing the role of someone else, kind of going in character so to say...kind of like an Ed Norton - Brad Pitt sort of thing. I do know that what I'm doing isn't really working so I need to try something else. I would say that giving myself more nuggets of logic, like past performance, the Monte Carlo results, etc. would work but I don't think my fear is rooted in logic, I think it's irrational fear that I have. I don't know that I can overcome an irrational fear with rational thought...maybe I can but I'm not sure.

Anyway, here's the setup I almost got into to. It moved pretty quickly so I'd like to think it would have been a new kind of pain I would have experienced - lately it has just been holding onto offside trades until they get back to break even.


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 Comeback King 
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No trading yesterday as I had my wisdom teeth removed...not as painful as I would have imagined.

I peeked at the ES a few times today but had no plans on trading, just relaxing at home. It was really nice weather outside so I mostly sat by my pool and watched the banana trees swaying in the breeze. I did review the action today and I picked a good day to skip (yesterday too) as both were small losing days.

Some things I need to work on next week and going forward:

1) Letting go of control, this is a big deal for me. I've been successful in my career by being in control of everything around me, the small details and everything. I'm not necessarily a micro-manager but I am at least aware of lot of details and involved in a lot of the decision making (at least part of the overall discussion). This trait which has made me successful in business is killing me in trading as I basically need to do the complete opposite. I was doing well letting go for a little bit but I've slipped in this area.

2) Understanding the my imagination is going to be far worse than reality. I have fear before placing a trade, or at least I have for the last few weeks. In reality, my stops are fixed and I never move them to make them wider unless I notice a mistake; I don't move them out of hope. My stops, particularly in this volatility are not usually more then 3 points or so. Getting stopped out on a few trades is not going to crush me, but my imagination runs wild.

These are things I'm going to ponder over the weekend and work on developing a rational understanding that I can apply when a trade approaches and is on. I need something to read over and focus on that brings my mind back to reality and away from this imagined hell that I seem to go to. If I can properly identify the problems, then I can work on finding solutions.

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 Comeback King 
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Experience: Intermediate
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ES Plan for 10/24

SR Zones I have marked:

84.25 - 86.0
71.25 - 73.25
64.0 - 65.50
60.0 - 61.50
50.25 - 52.25
44.0 - 46.0
38.0 - 40.0
14.25 - 16.0
5.75 - 7.75

ONH: 2147.50
ONL: 2134.75

pHi: 2136.75
pLo: 2123.25
pCL: 2134.75

Looks like a nice sized gap up open today. The ES is opening right in an SR zone I have marked and just above a longer term LVN at 2143.

I feel a lot better today and I'm hoping to have a good start to the week in terms of just following my trading plan.

End of Day

Not a lot going on today trading-wise. I missed an entry early in the morning that was a small hit. The rest of the day was pretty choppy and there were a few trades but they were scratches or small losses. Overall, my plan was minus 1 tick. I was minus 8 ticks because I missed the good trade...oh well; pretty much my luck lately.

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 Comeback King 
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10/25

Super busy day at work today and I will have frequent interruptions so I won't be trading today.

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 Comeback King 
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10/27

It's been really hectic at work this week and I have a ton of meetings today. I haven't been doing any trading, just paper trading and marking up trades on my chart during the day...keeping an eye on the ES as much as I can.

I've been doing more back testing as well. I'm trying to further define my edge and eliminate as much discretion from my plan as possible. I'm trying to simplify as well. I feel like I'm getting a better idea of what I am doing and what I should be doing and how realistic it would be for me to have a positive expectancy doing this.

My back testing is by hand, so it does take a lot of time. It is also possible that I will make mistakes doing it manually, missing trades here and there. I do go very slowly and review each day several times to try to reduce if not eliminate those errors. I don't like that it takes so long to do back testing this way, but at the same time I think the time spent is valuable - I definitely learn from looking at the market in this way versus being able to program something and just look at numbers on a spreadsheet.

So basically I'm still kind of researching and refining. Maybe I'm taking a pause for a bit, I'm not sure. If I've learned anything over the past few weeks it's that my confidence isn't there. Maybe part of that is confidence in my plan. If I can back test over and over and build a track record of trades then look at those going forward, surely I'll have a bit more confidence. If I can simplify my plan in terms of entry and exit parameters to the point where I'm not making a lot of decisions, and if those are thoroughly back tested with walk forward analysis completed, surely I'll be a bit more confident.

I can say that so far as I've removed discretion from my plan and gone through back testing up to this point, I'm pretty shocked at what the edge actually is. I do have scenarios where I will scratch a trade, so just looking at winners versus stop outs, my winning percentage is 50.3% - just a coin flip. There is one thing I could do to improve this slightly that I already know about and I have a few more ideas to look at and back test as well. I have a feeling the other ideas will just increase trading occurrences and not improve winning percentage but I'll have to see. At 50%, so far my points per trade is at +.85, so the edge really is coming from trade management more than anything.

If this continues to look the same I plan to also use this same plan and back test NQ, though I can tell that won't be soon.

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 Comeback King 
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11/3 Update

Been a bit...I have not been trading recently. I had a poor start to October that basically caused me to go back and re-evaluate what I'm doing. It seemed like every trade I put on was destined to stop out and that shook my fragile confidence.

What I've done is remove 100% of the discretion for entry from my plan. I've gone though a few iterations, with a basic entry to start with that I added a filter to and redid my back testing. I then changed 1 parameter and back tested everything again. I then compared results for all 3 and continued to back test the better one, which ended up being the last one I tried.

There is a small amount of discretion for my exit, but this only comes into play on about 10% of the trades I take. When back testing, I either take the worst case scenario or what seems reasonable; I don't take the best case scenario for my exit ever.

While I've been back testing, I have been live paper trading. I think I have a good feel for the plan in terms of what an entry and and exit looks like. I have a bit more back testing to do this week before I make up my mind about going forward. So far, I have back tested 2016 and 2015 as well as parts of 2010 and 2008. I have a hit versus stop rate of 51% and an average per trade profit of just over 1 point. The average profit per trade is a bit skewed toward the higher side because I back tested more in higher volatility periods in 2008 and 2010 to see how my plan performed as I have some good lower volatility data from this year.

What I have found is that my plan favors higher volatility markets; the overall performance has tested out better during these periods. During periods of low volatility, measured by daily range and intraday ATR, the win rate is lower and these are where I get more weekly draw downs. From a weekly perspective, most of the weeks I have tested have been profitable and all but 1 contract has been profitable. The contract that was not profitable was the M2010 contract.

My goal here is to develop a confidence level with what I am doing in terms of a trading plan. I need to know that over time I will be okay trading my plan. While I have done back testing before but not to this extent. I do realize that there is never a guarantee in trading. No matter how much I back test I could grind my account down to nothing over and over again. I realize that I could be doing something wrong in my back testing, missing losing trades by accident or something which will distort my results. When I do my walk forward Monte Carlo I do apply a penalty to all of my trades, both 1 and 2 ticks. Based on my average number of weekly trades and how many weeks I anticipate trading, I estimate that I'll be making 500 trades per year. With a 2 tick penalty per trade, this is a 250 point penalty in a year - hopefully that is sufficient. Of course the outlook looks a lot better with the 1 tick/125 point per year penalty applied but the 2 tick penalty still has a positive outcome.

I don't know when exactly I'll be ready to start putting my money on the line again. At this point my confidence is growing, which is what I really need. I suppose I will need to be 100% convinced that what I am doing will work. I need to have a high level of confidence so I can follow my plan no matter what. I really need to eliminate my trading errors, and I need to be able to continue with my plan even if I have a losing week or a few losing weeks in a row.

Anyway, enough rambling...back to digging through old charts.

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 Comeback King 
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Posts: 262 since Aug 2016
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