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SoftSoap's NQ Journey - from SoftSoap to SoftGold
Started:August 28th, 2016 (01:13 PM) by SoftSoap Views / Replies:11,327 / 254
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SoftSoap's NQ Journey - from SoftSoap to SoftGold

Old September 28th, 2016, 10:28 AM   #101 (permalink)
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2016-09-28 Prep

ON market balanced between 4875 and 4850

Goals for the day
  • Do not look at P&L
  • Do not break any golden rules
  • Engage your deliberate thinking for all trades
  • 0 FOMO trades
  • 0 Emotional trades
  • Maximum of 2 trades today

The only setups I'll take today
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  1. ~4900 area
    • Expected rejection area
    • LF Short opportunity
    • If we see some signs of higher time frame players stepping in, you might take 2 contracts
    • 1 contract aim for ~4883 target
    • 1 contract hold for ~4865 target
    • Be very careful taking the 2 contracts here
  2. ~4890 area (AT Highs)
    • LF Short opportunity
    • Stop behind the 4895 is ideal, but could be tricky to get
    • Aim for 4875 target at least
    • If you are holding this at the end of the day and you are up at least 7-8 points, you can keep this trade overnight. Aim for 4865 target, but lower your stop to avoid taking losses. Reassess the situation though
    • Do not take a break-out trade if we slice through this area fast
  3. ~4875 area
    • LF Short opportunity
    • You are looking for signs that the market isn't willing to push further up
    • Maybe we see some higher time frame players selling, maybe we see strong signs of buyers stepping out of the market
    • Be prepapred to pass up on this trade
    • Aim for ~4856 target
    • Stop behind 4880 would be ideal
  4. ~4875 area
    • LF Long opportunity
    • You are only taking this trade if the market pullsback from a bull move into this area
    • You are looking for volume that the move down is just a pullback and not a trend reversal
    • You want to see volume
    • Be prepared to pass up on this trade
    • Ideal stop is below the 4870 area, target ~4887 is a safe bet, 4889 is do-able though
    • If you feel in control psychologically, you can see if we break AT highs at 4892.25, but you need to be ready to exit fast if we don't. Don't hesitate on this
  5. ~4850 area
    • LF Long opportunity
    • You want to see aggressive buying here
    • Stop behind 4847 is highly recommended
    • Target 4867 is safe, but you can aim close to the 4873 area if signs are looking good
    • IF we break this fast, you might be tempted to take a break-down trade - Don't
  6. ~4835 area
    • LF long opportunity
    • You want to see signs that the bear move is over
    • Be prepared to pass up on this

Here are my alarms:
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Things to watch on the open
  • Total volume - Will there be any signals of a calm trend day? Or will we see stronger volume
  • Volume profile, will we see a strong profile at ~the 4860 area? this could be a strong signal for market sentiment
  • Try to get an idea on whether we'll see longer-timeframe players in control, or if it'll be small-time players controlling the market today


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Old September 28th, 2016, 10:08 PM   #102 (permalink)
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2016-09-28 Summary

I'm finding it easier to control myself when it comes to entering trades, this is a good trend. I think I've taken the right steps to put the days where I took 7 trades in 20 minutes without wanting to take any of those trades behind me . I need to continue on that path though.

Having said that, new problems start to arise in my methodology. I won't get into them as the month is almost over and I plan to talk about them in detail at my end of month summary.

I won't lie, the end of the month pressure is getting to me as I haven't had a good month or a good week. I only took one trade today, as the market was slow so only one of my setups was triggered. I should've won this one, but I made one small error that ended up costing the trade for me.

My alarm was hit so I started watching the market. At first the signs didn't look strong enough on first contact so I decided not to take a trade. The market then moves up about 6 points and I thought I missed an opportunity.
Then the market came back down and the signs were stronger so I was looking for an entry point.

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My first though was to place it 2-3 ticks below the ON high which would put me ~ 4848 and would give me a great place to put my stop behind the 4845 area.

However, I quickly glanced at the DOM and saw there were more orders on the buy side than usual at around the 4851-4849.50 area, so I thought the market might reverse earlier and I moved my entry to 4851.25. I don't know why I did this, I don't know how to read the DOM properly.

I get filled right away and within seconds the market drops 2-3 points and I glance over the volume and then DOM and can't help but think "oh fuck, not this again" lol. I haven't prioritized learning the DOM as I've been focusing a lot on my psychology lately, so I should know not to make decisions on something I don't quite comprehend. It's my fault and I have nobody to blame myself on this one, but it stung.

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47 seconds later my stop is hit, and the signs for a reversal are stronger than ever.

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I was pretty upset, and wanted to just take a market order here. It would've been the right thing $-wise, but the wrong thing long-term trading wise. I'm here for long-term growth and not short-term profits so a revenge trade is something that has no place in my methodology. It did take a lot though for me not to take that trade though, but my consciousness prevailed!

The same area was hit about 25 minutes later, but the signs there no longer were pointed to a strong trend reversal so I passed up on the trade.

Goals for the day
  • Do not look at P&L - Passed
  • Do not break any golden rules - Passed
  • Engage your deliberate thinking for all trades - Passed
  • 0 FOMO trades - Passed
  • 0 Emotional trades - Passed
  • Maximum of 2 trades today - Passed

3 things I did well
  • Controlled myself to not revenge trade
  • Walked away from the trigger when upset
  • Didn't mention it in detail but I passed up 2 trades that would've been losses

3 things I should improve on
  • Making decisions on something I don't fully understand
  • DOM reading - to be on my priority list in the near future
  • Controlling myself faster after getting upset- I'm making progress on this but I have a long way to go

Yesterday's excellence is today's standard and tomorrow's mediocrity

Last edited by SoftSoap; September 28th, 2016 at 10:44 PM.
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Old September 29th, 2016, 10:49 PM   #103 (permalink)
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2016-09-29 Prep and Summary


Was busy today with some personal stuff and wasn't able to dedicate as much time to my journal during the day.

Overall I had a pretty bad day today. $-wise and psychology wise. I'm trying to make up my # of losses by having really big wins and it's just not paying off. Today I had the opportunity to take 2-3 trades with ~15 pts each but chose to go for 25+ pt wins, and while we did get sufficient range to be able to handle trades like that, I didn't have the proper entry points / timing to do so.

I want to shake off this whole monthly performance and it sounds silly but I've been thinking about it a lot these last couple of days. It has definitely impacted my trading

Here's a summary of the trades I had planned:
Essentially anything above current price I was looking for shorts, anything above I was looking for longs. The #4 I have on there was in case price went crazy in the first 30 minutes and I could take a trade around there, but only for the beginning of the session. This didn't end up happening.

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I was able to pass up the first 2 times my alarms were triggered.
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Then I filled around the 4845 area which was the bottom of my zone, and I was able to survive the move down and things looked great. My target was quite high at ~ 18pts but the way things were going I felt very good about this trade.
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I moved my stop up and target up once I was up about 14 points as we had moved to this faster than I was expecting. I had no idea the whole DB thing was about to happen though haha

Thankfully I moved my stop up so I at least ended up taking a couple of points from this trade.

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Then things came down and the volume was strong but I was watching bloomberg and nothing was happening, they were focused on the wells fargo CEO and the stock wasn't dropping that much at the time. I decided to take a long trade expecting this to just be a lunch-time correction.

I then got stopped out very fast and was thinking that something was up but news-wise I just wasn't seeing anything except for the whole congress thing. VIX was up, and everything was trending red so I thought to myself, hmm should I be shorting here?

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So I shorted, and the market moved so fast that I aimed for a 20+ pt trade, which because I entered so late in this I didn't get.

Then I waited for a pullback and took another short, but nope the market was going to go up.

I then set an order at 4839 and watched the market go up to 4839 and not fill me! I wasn't very happy and the market dropped super fast after that so I just took a market order at 4831, with a 25 point target! lol what was I thinking

By this time Bloomberg was now talking all about the whole DB thing and I thought the market would drop a lot more, but it didn't. We saw a huge correction and I decided to step away.

I took more trades than I wanted to which is not a good thing but today's event was definitely something I would allow as an exception. However, I got waaaaaay too greedy with my targets. I'm trying to make up a month's worth of losses in a couple of trades, so that's not a good idea.

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Psychology goals today
  • Do not look at P&L - Failed, but I did think I might be close to my monthly stop limit (which I am quite close lol)
  • 3 trades max, but aim for 2 - Failed
  • 0 Emotional trades - Failed
  • 0 FOMO trades - Failed

Broke all my goals today haha. It was tough not to feel FOMO when things were moving so crazy and out of nowhere (or at least it felt like out of nowhere for me). As I take part of this journey some exceptions are acceptable, but they need to be rare. I've started up thinking about the content I want to have on my end of month summary and jeez I'm getting very excited to share things with you, keep posted!

Yesterday's excellence is today's standard and tomorrow's mediocrity
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Old September 29th, 2016, 11:17 PM   #104 (permalink)
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Last reminder!

Also, tomorrow is the last day of the FIO NinjaTrader September contest.

If you have enjoyed this journal and have not yet voted for me on the official thread, it would mean a lot to me if you could by 'thanking' my post in the link below:

https://futures.io/feedback-announcements/40234-fio-journal-challenge-september-2016-a.html#post592867

Cheers.


Win or lose, the quantity and quality of the posts in this journal will only increase. I've learned a lot about myself through this experience and this is just the beginning of my journey!

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Old September 30th, 2016, 10:21 AM   #105 (permalink)
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2016-09-30 Prep

Futures Edge on FIO
  • ON we saw a bear move down followed by a bull rally and currently in the green
  • The 4815 area held very strongly ON and this is the 3rd strong test we've had in this zone in the last day. It seems to be a favorable area for higher time frame players to step in and buy
  • Last day of the month, last day of the week, currently up for the month, unlikely to see it turn red unless we see a 75+ move down today

Here are the setups I'm looking to take today:
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  1. ~4880 zone
    • LF Short
    • Stop behind 4882 would be ideal
    • Aim for 15-20 pt target, don't get greedy
    • You are looking for signs of hesitancy. The market doesn't want to move up and those with long positions are getting out while they can
    • If we hit this close to the end of the day, the setup becomes more favorable
    • If we hit this very early and with strong force, you might want to pass up on this and decide to take a short closer to AT highs (~4890 area)
  2. ~4875 zone
    LF Short
    • You are looking for signs of hesitancy. The market doesn't want to move up and those with long positions are getting out while they can
    • If we hit this close to the end of the day, the setup becomes more favorable
    • Be prepared to pass up on this setup as it's close to the setup above
  3. ~4850
    • LF long
    • You are looking for signs of a break-out
    • You want to see confidence, you are looking for signs that the whole DB thing is just a blink in the radar and not anything to be strongly worried about right now
    • You are looking for strong performance from the top NQ performers, if they are up higher %-wise than the NQ, that is a good sign
    • Look to see how the ES is reacting, is it getting close to a strong resistance zone? or are we seeing free space to rally up in there?
    • Aim for 12-18 pt target, be very careful around the 4857-4859 area, if signs are strong of a reversal ~4860, don't hesitate to exit this trade
    • Be prepared to pass up on this setup
  4. ~4840 zone
    • LF Short
    • Stop behind the 4850 zone is ideal but might not be likely
    • You want to see force, you are looking for any signs that buyers aren't confident we will beat the 4850
    • If move is early and strong enough, you can aim for 20-25 pt target, but 10-15 points into it you should move your stop to guarantee a win
    • Be prepared to pass up on this setup
  5. ~4815 zone
    • LF Long
    • ON low
    • You want to see players stepping in feeling comfortable that this is a good higher timeframe entry
    • Be very careful and do not take a preemptive trade here
    • If things are quite volatile while getting here, take extra precaution
  6. ~4800 zone
    • LF long opportunities
    • The closer to the end of the day you take this, the better
    • If force coming down is too strong, you might want to pass up on this trade and wait for the 4780 area

Psychology goals
  • Do not look at P&L
  • 2 trades max
  • 0 FOMO trades
  • 0 Emotional trades
  • Engage deliberate thinking in all trades


Things to watch at open
  • DB and commerzbank
  • Total volume, will we see higher time frame players utilizing the Friday liquidity to exit their uncertain long positions?
  • Volume profiles
  • How quickly will we get to the ~4820 zone?
  • Look for any signs of panic, if you do see strong signs of panic get in early. Don't take an emotional trade but try to make a quick deliberate decision

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Old September 30th, 2016, 11:51 AM   #106 (permalink)
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First trade today

Took a trade from the open, some signs were there for a potential bull rally from the open and I made the quick decision to enter:


Quoting 
~4850
  • LF long
  • You are looking for signs of a break-out
  • You want to see confidence, you are looking for signs that the whole DB thing is just a blink in the radar and not anything to be strongly worried about right now
  • You are looking for strong performance from the top NQ performers, if they are up higher %-wise than the NQ, that is a good sign
  • Look to see how the ES is reacting, is it getting close to a strong resistance zone? or are we seeing free space to rally up in there?
  • Aim for 12-18 pt target, be very careful around the 4857-4859 area, if signs are strong of a reversal ~4860, don't hesitate to exit this trade
  • Be prepared to pass up on this setup

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Shortly after entering we hit the 4858 area which in my prep I noted as a key area to watch for a potential trend reversal. I started observing signs of price being absorbed but not aggressively being pushed down. I then set parameters to observe closely
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Those parameters were met and the reasons why my hypothesis on a breakout were proven wrong, and the only thing that would keep me in this trade is hope. My job is to read the market and react, and not hope for things to happen out of nowhere. So the logical decision is to exit.
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Although this trade didn't work out and I ended up losing a bit I'm very happy with how I managed myself during the trade. Here's a few reasons why:
  • I saw some of the signs i was looking for, and I executed on those signs quickly
  • Once the market was giving me signs that this scenario might not actually happen after all, I set myself parameters to exit the trade. I watched those closely.
  • Once those parameters were met, I exited the trade without hesitation. This went against my emotions which wanted to hold out hoping that my stop wouldn't be hit (it would've).
  • Also, once I exited my trade I did want to take a short trade but this wasn't part of my plan, so I avoided that


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Old October 2nd, 2016, 11:29 PM   #107 (permalink)
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Week 40 Prep

I was out pretty much the entire weekend so I haven't had a chance to do my end of week or end of month review yet. I'll be doing the end of month review shortly.

I do my prep on paper but here are some of the key things to note:
  • Close to all-time highs
  • Highest open we've had ever
  • 3 weeks of bull market
  • Daily range lately has been ~ ATR, while weekly reange has been below ATR
  • Market looks to be stable right now and it appears that the DB thing was just an overreaction, but this will be key to watch throughout the week. Some small bad news could have big impact on the market
  • Some very big wicks near the 4820 mark that show buyers are willing to pick up
  • Jobs report on Friday, some manufacturing and non-manufacturing indexes this week. Nothing too big news-wise this week. Could be a calm-ish week
  • Again lots of fed speakers, but they didn't get much attention last week - will any of them get attention this week?
  • VP debate on Tuesday. Will the market care? who knows
  • No US holidays but it's Columbus day next week, does that matter for the market? Is this considered a long weekend? Not sure tbh lol

Goals for the week
  • 0 FOMO trades
  • 0 Emotional trades
  • Do not look at P&L until end of week
  • Engage deliberate thinking in all trades
  • Journal daily
  • Don't delay your end of month summary, the stats in there are important
  • You are getting behind on your book, make a lot more progress on it this week
  • Maximum of 3 trades a day, but on most days aim for 2 trades max

Yesterday's excellence is today's standard and tomorrow's mediocrity
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Old October 3rd, 2016, 10:47 AM   #108 (permalink)
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2016-10-03 Prep

First day of the week and first day of the month
Nasdaq just finished their best quarter since 2013
ON was relatively bearish, but on low range and low volume

News
  • Vehicle sales throughout the day
  • PMI Manufacturing Index @ 945
  • ISM Manufacturing Index @ 10
  • Construction Spending @ 10

Scenarios
  1. Range between 4885-4850. Market will find a bottom support area and slowly move from there, we may or may not break the ON high of 4879.50
  2. Market moves up relatively fast to AT highs, then we see an even faster drop
  3. Very low range day, no news and low volume could mean we don't hit any setups today
  4. Market slowly creeps to ~4840 area, it bounces from there to balance ~ the open of the day
  5. Market struggles a bit at the open but on higher volume, the buyers then become more cautious and we see a creeping bear trend day

Setups I'll take today
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  1. ~4890 area
    • LF Short as close to all time highs as possible
    • You are looking for signs that a bull move is over
    • Ideally you want to see force stopping a move, but you might just see unwilligness to move the market price higher, that will suffice
    • Ideal stop is behind the 4895 area, but might be tough to get if the market is slowing down
    • ~4875 target is safe
    • If this is hit late in the afternoon, it becomes a better setup
    • If you are up ~8pts when market closes, you can hold this ON and aim for a lower area
  2. ~4880 area
    • LF short ~ ON High
    • You are looking for signs that a bear move is starting
    • Ideal stop is behind PDH of 4885.50, but ON high is 4879.50 so we might not get that far up
    • Target of ~4867 is a safe bet, but ~4860 could be do-able
    • If the market is creeping up to this, be extra wary and look for stronger signs
    • Be prepared to pass up on this
  3. ~4840 area
    • LF Short break-down trade
    • Not likely that you will take this setup, but watch the market closely just in case
    • You are looking for force, you need to see big volume #, a volume profile that backs up a break-down, and ideally some news behind it
    • Entry on a pullback would be ideal, but depending on how strong the market is moving you might want to get in on first contact
    • Target ~ 4826 is safe, ~4820 is likely
    • You'll need to watch the trade closely if there are no news behind this and be prepared to exit
    • Be prepared to pass up on this
  4. ~4840 area
    • LF Long
    • You want to see strong signs that volume is being absorbed
    • If this is the first setup hit from the open, be extra wary in case we have a bear trend day
    • You want to see total volume picking up
    • ~4867 should be safe target, but ~4877 could be possible as well, watch the trade closely and react based on the type of day we are having
    • Be prepared to pass up on this
  5. ~4815 area
    • LF Long
    • You want to see higher time frame players stepping in to buy
    • If we have a bear trend day and
    • If you do get in, look for signs that this isn't just a pullback, specially if it looks to be a creep bear trend day
    • If this gets hit near the end of the day and you have a good entry + it's up at least 8pts, you can hold ON and aim for a higher target
Things to watch at open
  • Total volume - how will we start off the week / month? Will we see any big players step in?
  • Range - will we see balance right off the open? or will we strongly move one way this morning?
  • Volume profiles - not sure how to explain what I'm looking for, I just know what it looks like

Psychology goals
  • Do not look at P&L
  • 0 FOMO trades
  • 0 Emotional trades
  • Engage deliberate thinking in all trades
  • Do not micromanage trades. You can move stop once to guarantee a profit but do not move your target

Yesterday's excellence is today's standard and tomorrow's mediocrity
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Old October 3rd, 2016, 04:26 PM   #109 (permalink)
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2016-10-03 Summary

Low range day today, market is not closed yet but it's unlikely that a setup will be triggered. I ended up taking 0 trades unfortunately. There were 2 times when I wanted to enter into a trade but I did not get filled, once I came within a tick
Market-wise it would've been a win, but you never know because I could've gotten too greedy or micromanaged my trade wrong.

From my scenarios, it looks like today we had scenario 4.

Quoting 
Market slowly creeps to ~4840 area, it bounces from there to balance ~ the open of the day

First alarm got hit and signs were starting to show. Nothing too strong but it looked like a weak day regardless
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I set in an order and waited for the market to come to me. This has gotten easier and easier to do over the last couple of weeks, fighting that FOMO!
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No fill, damn. I could chase the trade, but that never ends well . Let's hope for a pull-back
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The pullback is here, I'm hoping we see a bigger drop than we did earlier so I get a fill.
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Got very close, the price came within 1 tick of my entry point, and within 2 ticks of a guaranteed fill.
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You never know how I would've executed the trade so I won't say it would've been a win, but there's my safe target and stretch target for reference. Safe target would've been hit, stretch target not likely to be hit today. **Edit start - Both safe target and stretch targets would've been hit today without touching my stop - Edit end**

Sucks I didn't get filled, and honestly I wasn't happy about it. This is now my biggest trading execution issue, not getting filled. I'll be talking more about this during my month-end review.

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Psychology goals
  • Do not look at P&L - Passed
  • 0 FOMO trades - Passed
  • 0 Emotional trades - Passed
  • Engage deliberate thinking in all trades - Passed
  • Do not micromanage trades. You can move stop once to guarantee a profit but do not move your target - Never had chance to test

Yesterday's excellence is today's standard and tomorrow's mediocrity

Last edited by SoftSoap; October 3rd, 2016 at 05:40 PM. Reason: Post day result
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Old October 3rd, 2016, 04:56 PM   #110 (permalink)
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You have a very good process.
You have feedback loops and grades.

I like your style of journaling.
I like your Psychology Goals a lot. So much fluff by high performers on mental strength, but they do not know what it means, how to do it, or similar. Your psychology goals provide the right process and the feedback gives you something measurable. I applaud you and your journal.

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