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SoftSoap's NQ Journey - from SoftSoap to SoftGold
Started:August 28th, 2016 (01:13 PM) by SoftSoap Views / Replies:11,996 / 271
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SoftSoap's NQ Journey - from SoftSoap to SoftGold

Old November 14th, 2016, 04:26 PM   #221 (permalink)
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You sure you are not over trading?
I think you used to have 3-4 trades a day, and after elections night it is 20+ a day now.
I don't know if it is planned or not. Just wanted to ask if you are aware of that and comfortable with that.

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Old November 14th, 2016, 04:42 PM   #222 (permalink)
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sagor View Post
You sure you are not over trading?
I think you used to have 3-4 trades a day, and after elections night it is 20+ a day now.
I don't know if it is planned or not. Just wanted to ask if you are aware of that and comfortable with that.

100% I am, and it's somewhat 'planned'. My thinking last night was that if the market was 'normal-ish', I would trade as I normally do and limit myself to a # of trades. But if it was strongly volatile then I would be limiting myself to a % loss for a daily stop. Here's how I worded it in my weekly prep.

Quoting 
Daily psychology goals assuming relatively normal market conditions
  • 3 trades per day maximum, only take a 4th if you would still be up at least 0.75% if you lost

I need to be prepared in case we do have some days where we have crazy volatility, so here are my psychology goals in case that happens.

Daily psychology goals if we have crazy volatility with very strong moves
  • 2.5% loss maximum, and take a break after 1.5% of losses

Today I 'adapted' to the latter, although I'm not quite sure if it was the right thing to do.

Right now the conundrum I'm faced with is as follows:
  • Do I limit flexibility in my trading style (max X trades per day) and slowly learn until the market conditions become more favorable for my trading style?
  • or do I allow flexibility and protect my account with a max % loss so that I can learn how to trade in this environment as fast as possible?

My goal is long-term growth so it seems that learning as fast as possible how to trade in this environment would be the right answer. But will over-trading in the short-term degrade my edge in the mid-term and possibly long-term?

Honestly, I don't know the answer and I'm going to be thinking about this all day as I want to make the right decision.

Any advice would be appreciated!

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Old November 14th, 2016, 11:12 PM   #223 (permalink)
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2016-11-14 Summary Part 2


I've had some time to think, and asked a question on the Paychology and Money Management forum. This helped me think about how I should trade for the next couple of weeks.

I've come to the conclusion that I will limit my trading to a certain amount per day, although I will allow myself to raise my risk a bit provided I stay below the 1% risk per trade, although I would not like to go higher than 0.75% risk per trade in the near future.

I don't exactly feel as I did when I started writing my post, but I am still going to post it because I know in the future I'll be thinking similarly and I will want to refer to this post for guidance.

Here's what I was writing.

Quoting 
I'm not sure how I feel about today. I feel like I made some progress, but at the same time I don't know that I actually did. The day was very similar to Friday, but I came out around break-even, as I was actually able to hit my target a couple of times
But did I truly learn anything about how to adapt my trading in this environment?

This environment is not a 'jeans day', and not a 'white tie event', but somewhere in between that I currently don't have anything proper in my wardrobe to wear
If you don't get the reference, click here

Honestly when you take into account my bear bias from the beginning of the RTH, and that the market dropped 75 points in 2 hrs, while 12/14 of my trades in the first 2 hrs were short, you would've thought I killed the markets today.

But that's not the case, and this is where my struggle comes in. Here are the numbers I'm looking and thinking about today:
  • I took 18 trades today. More than I took Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday.
  • 16 of those trades were shorts, 2 were longs. 14 trades were in the morning session and that's what I want to focus on right now
  • 11/14 of the trades I took in the morning session would've had their targets filled if I didn't set a hard stop (10 shorts and 1 long)
  • I only hit my targets on 2 out those 11 trades
  • 10/14 trades were taken with the trend, while 4 of those trades were against the trend

So what does this tell me? I was mostly right about where the market is going to go (good direction), and I was mostly right about how far it was going to go (good targets), but I couldn't stay in the trade long enough to bring the wins home(bad entry points or too low stops).

This tells me that my comfortable trading style needs some adjusting if I want to thrive in the next few weeks. And the focus I need to have is on improving my entry points, or raising my stops.

The logical and easy thing to do is to take less trades and risk more than my usual 4.5 pts per trade. That sounds easy, but am I psychologically ready to take much bigger risks? I could take almost 12pts of risk per trade and be within my 1% risk limit, but my account size has grown significantly from when I first created that rule.

I'm finding it hard to read the profiles, they aren't telling me as much as they would in a normal environment.

They are useful in telling me that we have some higher time frame players in the market, and whether the market will trend bear or bull, but not their volatility or if they will reverse.

If I had no hard stops today and hard targets, I would've been 10/12 short trades and 1/2 in long trades for the morning session

So this shows that I am reading the direction of the market, and a good estimation as to how far it will go, but I cannot gauge the volatility swings to see what is a good entry point and what is not.

Lots of thinking to do.

To repeat, I've cooled myself off a bit from when I started writing this, and I feel different about how to approach these next few days.

See you tomorrow!

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Old November 15th, 2016, 07:07 AM   #224 (permalink)
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Reaching a decision rarely makes a difference on its own, so here's my 2p as well:

In my experience over-trading never helps, but often neither does having a fixed number of trades.

For many of us, avoiding 'tilt' days still has to be numero uno to make for a good month. I have personally found most benefit from being able to walk away if I'm just plain wrong 2 or 3 trades in a row. I can be pretty sure my read is badly off, or I'm being stupid and fighting something obvious, usually caused by a prior married bias. The day can be saved just by getting outside the door.

Secondly, having an enforced time gap between trades works for me. Whether it's 5 or 20 minutes it keeps the head clearer and makes me remember that a day is long, so getting back into a trade faster than I held one is unlikely to be a recipe for success. Still my main work in progress, when I'm not digging.

Cheers

Travel Well
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Old November 15th, 2016, 10:29 AM   #225 (permalink)
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2016-11-15 Prep

Futures Edge on FIO
  • ATR @ 90, the market is currently sitting at ~half that before open
  • Volume has been dropping steadily since election day, but we are still above 'normal'
  • Wicks are showing that the market doesn't like staying very long under the 4700 area
  • Retail sales came in higher than expected, moved the NQ quite bullishly pre market
  • Manufacturing survey came in better than expected
  • Import and export services slightly better than expected
  • No big news during RTH
  • Pre market most of the big NQ components are in the green, with AMZN, FB, and GOOG all close to 2% upside
  • Banks are slightly in the red
  • ES looks to be tightening these last couple of days, watch to see where it goes
  • Sentiment on tech is still bearish, so be prepared for a bear move at anytime
  • Market has been slowly dropping since the 'BTFD' rally last week
  • 14 day RTH VA between 4710 and 4790
  • 14 day VPOC at 4725
  • December rate hike expectation at 94%, highest I've ever seen it so I'm sure the market will start to price things in once they get a good opportunity

Scenarios
  1. Bull trend day - News drive up NQ and combined with the divergence with the ES, investors feel confident about buying into NQ again
  2. Bear trend day - News sparks a bit of a bull rally, but the higher time frame sentiment on tech is bearish so they see it as a good time to sell, market continues bear move
  3. Range between
  4. Range day - Market opens up bullish and rallies until it finds a resistance area, market then bounces between that area and 4700 or 4690
  5. Range day - Big correction on the open and the market drops to ~4700 or even 4690, the market then moves up and ranges between the 'drop point' of the bull rally

Setups I'll take today
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Not a comprehensive list, but areas where I'm looking for changes / continuation in the market
  1. ~4780
    • LF Short
    • LF trend reversal
  2. ~4760
    • LF Short
    • LF Trend reversal
    • Stop behind 4760 is a must, target 4742 is safe, 4732 is stretch and if you do go for it you must secure 15 pts of profit at least
  3. ~4760
    • LF Long
    • LF continued break-out
    • Target 4777 but be prepared to exit at ~4774 if we see strong resistance
  4. ~4740
    • LF Short
    • LF trend reversal
    • Stop behind 4745 is ideal
    • Target 4726 at least, you can aim for 4721 but be prepared to exit
    • If the market is moving very strongly down, then you can target 4706 but you must secure a 15 pt profit
  5. ~4740
    • LF Long
    • LF break out
    • Bull rally must be strong to take, if not you might want to look at the later setups to see when the bull rally gets exhausted or reversed
    • Watch the 4750 area closely
    • Target 4769 if we break the 50 area easily
  6. ~4715
    • LF Long
    • LF strong support and a bullish sentiment
  7. ~4700
    • LF Long
    • LF trend reversal
    • Stop behind 4695 is ideal
    • Safe target 4714, stretch target 4723
    • Watch the 4715 area closely
  8. ~4700
    • LF Short
    • LF break down
    • 4682 target
    • The first time getting into this, do not expect the market to break the 4680 mark, however if this is the 2nd or 3rd tiem, then you could aim for a target lower
  9. ~4680
    • LF Long
    • LF trend reversal
    • Target 4698
    • Unless big news, don't target past the 4700 mark
  10. ~4680
    • LF Short
    • LF break down continuation
    • If the market move is down and very strong then take this, otherwise pass
    • Take into account what time it is
  11. ~4660
    • LF Long
    • LF trend reversal
  12. ~4660
    • LF Short
    • LF break down continuation
  13. ~4630
    • LF Long
    • LF trend reversal

Psychology goals today
  • 0 FOMO trades
  • 0 Emotional trades
  • Maximum 4 RTH trades. However, you can only take a 4th trade if losing it would still net you 0.75% for the day
  • Do not get greedy, watch the market and set targets based on that - Do not set targets based on 'hope'
  • Engage deliberate thinking in all trades

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Old November 15th, 2016, 12:14 PM   #226 (permalink)
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ratfink View Post
Reaching a decision rarely makes a difference on its own, so here's my 2p as well:

In my experience over-trading never helps, but often neither does having a fixed number of trades.

For many of us, avoiding 'tilt' days still has to be numero uno to make for a good month. I have personally found most benefit from being able to walk away if I'm just plain wrong 2 or 3 trades in a row. I can be pretty sure my read is badly off, or I'm being stupid and fighting something obvious, usually caused by a prior married bias. The day can be saved just by getting outside the door.

Secondly, having an enforced time gap between trades works for me. Whether it's 5 or 20 minutes it keeps the head clearer and makes me remember that a day is long, so getting back into a trade faster than I held one is unlikely to be a recipe for success. Still my main work in progress, when I'm not digging.

Cheers

Always appreciate any comments on my journal, so thanks!

I do agree that limiting myself to a # of trades doesn't help much, as it only mitigates the # of trades I take, and the potential # of losses. However, it also prevents potential highly positive days, obviously not a good thing.

However, thinking about my past psychological issues, it forces me to be strategic about the trades I choose to take a day. This slowly psychologically reinforces that FOMO = BAD, and Emotional trading = BAD, 2 things I've struggled with significantly since I started trading.

The way I see it is that I'm aiming to be an olympic swimmer, but I have just learned how to swim. I just got over the fear of water,

Limiting myself to a maximum depth doesn't do much to make me an olympic swimmer, but it does ensure I won't risk drowning and decide to exit my career path.

I think as I grow as a trader, I will move away from a # of trades per day, to a system similar to what you've proposed.

As for the time gap, I really like that idea. I've bene building a hypothesis lately that taking a trade within a couple of minutes of exiting one loses me more money than it makes me.

I have a lot of data that I've been tracking in the hopes of proving this and then making a change on it, and I honestly just haven't gotten around to it. I'm not one that likes to make systematic changes without the data to back it up, so I have to put this on the 'hopper of good ideas'

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Old November 15th, 2016, 03:29 PM   #227 (permalink)
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2016-11-15 Summary

Well, it feels like I am slowly walking back to the path that will make me a consistent trader. I set out the setups I was going to take, I looked for the signs, I read the market, and then acted. I wasn't greedy, but I set good targets. I didn't watch the market every second but I set alarms. I followed my rules, and once I hit my maximum # of trades that I set as part of my goals, I stopped trading.

Emotionally speaking today was very calm. I didn't get crazy adrenaline rushes, I didn't get angry, I just felt good. This led to good decision making for the most part.

I took a fat finger trade in the pre session which annoyed me a bit, but I was able to get over it fast

First RTH trade
Technically this trade was taken in the ATH but since it carried into the RTH I count it as one of my 'RTH trades'.

I was looking for the market to continue trending from the retail sales data as it came in 0.8 vs 0.6, quite a nice surprise. I figured this would be nice fr a bull rally because of the divergence we've seen between the ES/YM and the NQ in the last few days. However, I also mentioned it could go either way so I watched for signs of both around the open

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With hindsight I can also see that if I get into a 2nd contract, I would've regretted it. The market came down to the 39 area and I would've gotten a buy fill around the 47 area, I most likely would've been stopped out with a fraction of the profits I made.

Can't quite say how I would've acted, but if I acted according to how I tell myself I should've acted, then not getting greedy here was good.

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Trade grade -Good
  • It was in the plan - This one was not on my FIO plan as I took it before it was complete, but retail sales almost always impact the NQ and I plan to take a trade on really good / really bad data
  • Observed signs of entry
  • Good target and stop

Second RTH trade

I was looking for things to continue moving up, potentially we could have a bull trend day and I got into another long trade.
This was an intuitive decision and I didn't really think about any potential pullbacks or anything like that, which I realized shortly after I took the trade.

I might've still gotten into the trade if I thought about it, but I didn't lol
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Trade grade - Ok
  • It may or may not have been part of the plan
  • Some signs were there, but it felt like a 51/49 gamble
  • Decent (but not good) target and/or stop

Third RTH trade

So I was looking to go long on the pullback and I was looking for an entry point.
Initially I set my point ~ 40 area but I didn't get a fill, I didn't chase it at the 45 area or anything like that in case we saw another pullback.

Once I felt comfortable that we weren't going to pullback I filled myself at not as good of an entry at the 40 area, but hey information risk right?

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Trade grade -Good
  • It was in the plan - This one was not on my FIO plan as I took it before it was complete, but retail sales almost always impact the NQ and I plan to take a trade on really good / really bad data
  • Observed signs of entry
  • Good target and stop

Fourth RTH trade taken
I said I could only take a 4th trade if losing it would still put me positive at least 0.75%, and I was up a good amount so this would be certain so I started looking for a setup.

I think my problem here was that I went looking for a setup, as opposed to waiting for the setup to come to me.

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I didn't get a screenshot but I got stopped out

Trade grade - Ok
  • It may or may not have been part of the plan
  • Some signs were there, but it felt like a 51/49 gamble
  • Decent (but not good) target and/or stop

End of day screenshot
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Not quite end of day so edit this if it changes drastically

Psychology goals for the day
  • 0 FOMO trades- Passed
  • 0 Emotional trades- Passed
  • Maximum 4 RTH trades. However, you can only take a 4th trade if losing it would still net you 0.75% for the day- Passed, I did take a 4th trade (unsuccessfully) but even with that I'm ending more than 0.75% up
  • Do not get greedy, watch the market and set targets based on that - Do not set targets based on 'hope'- Passed, even with temptation
  • Engage deliberate thinking in all trades- Failed, on the trade where I went long at ~ the 50 area expecting a break out I didn't really think it through and I got in fast. I corrected this when the market came back up to it but I still took 1 intuitive trade

Overall day could've been better, but I honestly felt like I was in control the most out of this last week
I'm happy with today's outcome.

See you tomorrow!

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Old November 15th, 2016, 03:53 PM   #228 (permalink)
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Looks like we both managed to get frustration under control early in the day. Well done! Awesome trading!


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Old November 15th, 2016, 04:11 PM   #229 (permalink)
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Looks like we both managed to get frustration under control early in the day. Well done! Awesome trading!


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A frustrated trader becomes a losing trader

Might as well turn the frustration around before the market takes your money!

Cheers.

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Old November 16th, 2016, 10:22 AM   #230 (permalink)
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2016-11-16 Prep


  • 4780 held strongly ON, although we did stay around it for a couple of hours
  • After that we had a relatively small bear rally (small in comparison to last 2 weeks :sarcastic)
  • ATR is @ 90, we are currently at 40/90 pre market
  • On the daily wicks we see a volatile market that has been slowly inching up, creeping bull? I don't know that I'd call it that, but I don't know what else to call it right now
  • Honestly the NQ feels like it's balancing on a needle, so I need to be prepared for blast off at any time, although it may wait until the numbers come in tomorrow morning?
  • Range has been steadily decreasing since election night, will that trend continue today? We'd have to stay under 90 range for that trend to continue - very possible
  • PPI came in lower than expected, but this isn't a number I've had time to learn to understand yet, so I don't know how/if this will impact the NQ RTH
  • Major NQ components are down ~NQ, except for FB which is down 2%

News
  • Industrial production right before market opens - this could tilt the NQ either way so let's watch closely - came in just barely below consensus, enough to tilt the NQ? I don't think so
  • Housing market @ 10
  • Treasury @ 4, never seen this one before so I wonder what it's like, not that it'll impact the RTH at all, but curious
  • Some FED speakers today, will they move markets or will we just get fed talk from them?


Scenarios
  1. Market corrects itself from the ON session and moves up bull, we test the 4780 but can't break it, so we move down for a pullback until we find some strong support, we move from that area and break the 4780 area and look for the next level of strong resistance either @ 4800 or potentially 4815 might be at play again
  2. Market moves bear until it finds strong support, 4740, 4720, or 4700 are all strong candidates, we then trend bull for the remainder of the day
  3. Low range day - Market finds some support either at the 4740 area, or 4720, then we see balance between that and ON high / PDH
  4. Bull trend day - "Hey NQ is quite discounted still vs some of the other major indexes out there, let's BTFD", if we break the 4780 easily on the first try during the morning session, this could be an indication that we will have a bull trend day
  5. Bear trend day - "Trump and tech don't mix very well, let's get out before the market corrects itself a couple hundred points"


Setups I'll take today
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  1. ~4815-4830
    • LF Short
    • You are looking for a strong market reversal here
  2. ~4800
    • LF Short
    • Ideal stop is behind 4806, although that might be hard to get
    • You want to be sure that we aren't going to have a bull trend day in order to take this
    • Be careful about the entry point
    • 4783 target is safe, stretch is 4764, but you must secure a 10 pt profit to go for the bigger target
  3. 4800
    • LF Long
    • You are looking for signs that we are continuing a break out
    • Be careful not to enter this too early as we could see a reversal 5 points above this
    • Stop behind 4796 is ideal
    • Do not get greedy on a target here, 14 pts should be enough unless we have some crazy news and a super strong bull trend day
  4. ~4780
    • LF Long
    • Break out trade
  5. ~4780
    • LF Short
    • Reversal trade
    • Stop behind 4783 is needed
  6. ~4750
    • LF Short
    • Very weak area, so keep that in mind
  7. ~4750
    • LF Long
    • LF Strong bull continuation
    • Very weak area, so keep that in mind
  8. ~4740
    • LF Short
    • You are looking for break out signs
    • Stop behind 4745 is ideal
    • Be careful about when to enter this though
    • Target 4731 as safe target, 4726 as stretch, and 4716 as super stretch - secure 15 pt target for super stretch and only take if the bears are out in full force
  9. ~4740
    • LF Long
    • You want to see the market being comfortable with this being support for the day, or at least for the next couple of hours
    • Stop behind 4740 is a must, behind 4736 is nice
    • Target 4758 as safe, 4764 as stretch, and 4773 as super stretch but only if conditions call for it, but you must secure 15 pt profit to aim for the super stretch target
    • You must watch the 50 area closely though and be ready to exit should we see some strong selling there
  10. ~4725 (RTH PDL)
    • LF Long
    • You want to see the market slow down a bit before this
    • You shouldn't have seen all the zones before this being completely sliced
    • Be careful about this, we have sliced this every day on the ATH for the last 5 days, so it's not that strong of a reference area
    • Stop behind 4722 is a must, behind 4725 is ideal
    • Target 4739 is safe, 4744 is stretch, and 4749 is super stretch - guarantee 15 pts profit to go for 3rd target
  11. ~4725 (RTH PDL)
    • LF Short
    • You are looking for a continued break down
    • Bears should be out in full force
    • Target 4703 but look for strong support ~4710 area - be prepared to exit around there should the market reverse
  12. ~4710
    • LF Long
    • Look for reversal setup signs
    • Stop behind 4705 is ideal
    • Target 4723 is safe, 4734 stretch, 4737 if bears have gone home
    • Watch all the areas above closely, a small pullback is expected on most if not all of them, but if you see reversal signs then be prepared to exit
  13. ~4710
    • LF Short
    • Should be some strong bear continuation
    • You should feel that bears are pretty hungry if you are to take this, as the 4700 could see the trend reverse or even just have a major pullback that could take you out
    • Target 4792, and don't get too greedy on this
  14. ~4700
    • LF Long
    • Reversal setup
    • Potential for good targets here, but don't get too greedy and take into account time left in the session
  15. ~4700
    • LF Short
    • Only take if you expect a bear trend day or at least a very strong bear day
    • 4680 area has held 3/4 last days, so keep that in mind

A note about my setups today - Be careful when the market is looking for a support zone, you have a lot of potential areas from 4740 to 4700 (more than usual, and it's due to not one zone showing too much strength, you will want to see some strong signs on them if you think the market has found support.
Around these areas exercise what @CenFlo said yesterday:

Quoting 
- NOT trading is better than OVER trading. [We all get the mindset that we have to trade to make $$, but there are times when the trades are not there and we chase the market]

Also, watch to see when the ES hits a certain area that could be strong support, will be more important than last few days as NQ starts to normalize from its last few days divergence of the ES

Psychology goals for the day
  • 0 FOMO trades
  • 0 Emotional trades
  • Maximum 4 RTH trades. However, you can only take a 4th trade if losing it would still net you 0.75% for the day
  • Do not get greedy, watch the market and set targets based on that - Do not set targets based on 'hope'
  • Engage deliberate thinking in all trades

Let's do this!

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