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Bear Down! Trading Journal
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Bear Down! Trading Journal

  #1 (permalink)
Elite Member
Chicago, Illinois
 
Futures Experience: Beginner
Platform: ThinkorSwim
Favorite Futures: ES, CL, GC, ZB, YM, NQ
 
Dabears2322's Avatar
 
Posts: 131 since Jan 2017
Thanks: 62 given, 125 received

Bear Down! Trading Journal

Hey Guys-

Just joined the forum a couple of days ago and thought that I would finally write up a solid "starting" strategy and trading journal to keep track of my progress and to receive much needed feedback.

A little background. I am a 21 year old college junior (economics major) from Chicago. I started to gain interest in the markets before I started my freshman year. This led to me landing an internship at a trading firm in the CBOT where I learned a ton about trading and the markets. The experience truly opened my eyes and inspired me to commit as much time as I could to learning the true ins and outs of trading. I learned mostly about treasury spreads and trading the yield curve instead of trading outrights on equity indexes, so I have had to learn most of what I know and can actually use on my own (in my sim) on my own.

I have been spending a good amount of time on the sim over the past couple of years, on and off depending on school work load. I would learn something new everyday from my research that would change my strategy slightly, so I have not had a truly consistent system. For example, before visiting this forum and reading almost all of @GruttePier 's trading journal tons of other posts, I thought that price action and chart patterns was the ultimate way to trade. After trading with these type of strategies for about a year, I was never consistently profiting and felt like I was gambling. His journal made me realize that there is so much more trading.

GruttePier's journey is very inspiring and motivating to me. To see his full transformation as a trader with the help of other members really gives me hope that I can make it to the point of profiting consistently as well.

Looking forward to the journey. Please don't hold back any advice or feedback! I am looking to absorb as much information as I can, so the more the merrier!

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  #2 (permalink)
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  #3 (permalink)
Elite Member
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Futures Experience: Beginner
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Favorite Futures: ES, CL, GC, ZB, YM, NQ
 
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Posts: 131 since Jan 2017
Thanks: 62 given, 125 received

Strategy #1


Strategy #1:

I have decided to use more of a scalping strategy for at least the next month to test it out as I am home for another week of break, so I will be able to test it out in real time during the morning session. When I go back to school it will be more difficult.

I am also looking for recommendations on another trading platform/broker for the future, as I am still using TOS. I like their real-time sim, but their fills are unrealistic and it seems that the software lacks a lot of capabilities compared to some of the others like NinjaTrader. I trade from my laptop off wifi most of the time- yes, I know this is not a great setup but it has been OK for me while on the sim. Nothing I can really do about this at this time.

I will be trading the /ES
-1 contract
-Trade between 9ET and 4:15ET
-512 Tick Chart, Heikin Ashi Candle's for primary chart
-VWAP, 20 SMA, 50 SMA, 200 SMA, Daily Pivot Points with S/R 1,2
-Zoom in from W, D, H charts to identify trends and key S/R
-Trade with the trend- Don't go against it until new trend identified (usually HH and HL)
-Confirm entries using key zones, $TICK, $TRIN and VIX, Reading the tap (Need to get better understanding of all of these)
-Set stop below/above previous swing low/high
-Exit trade upon slowing down of trend when different color candle prints (profit target of 1.5 risk as goal average)

Below are screenshots of my current workspace and spreadsheet to track progress.
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  #4 (permalink)
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1/12/17:

Screenshot of todays trades. I will be keeping a more in depth journal from now on.

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  #5 (permalink)
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Low volume, choppy day.

Trade 1: Bought at 2271.75 on after pullback and breakthrough yesterdays high. Got in a little late. Missed my target of 2273.75 by 1 tick. Got out manually at 2272.75 at 2nd red candle. Ended up being good decision. +1 point

Trade 2: Short at 2270.75 after close of red candle making lower high and head and shoulders pattern right at yesterdays high. Goes against my strategy a little. Set target just above VWAP and barely hit it. Decent trade overall. +1.25

+2.25 on the day.

Decent second day. Tough day as it was very choppy and range bound. Trend days are much better for this strategy I think. Done for the day at 1 ET.

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Spent a lot of time looking more into order flow, market depth and reading the tape. Also looked at a lot of videos on the Jigsaw DOM. Pretty interesting stuff. I don't have the money and experience for it now, but can see how it can be useful to experienced traders, especially scalpers.

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  #7 (permalink)
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Welcome to the forum, and good on you for getting started so young. Good luck.

The only comment that I have is that trading is gambling, we're just trying to be the casino.

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  #8 (permalink)
Trading for Fun
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Comeback King View Post
Welcome to the forum, and good on you for getting started so young. Good luck.

The only comment that I have is that trading is gambling, we're just trying to be the casino.



Hey Comeback King - I see you are in Tampa, I am in Winter haven! We are practically neighbors

But, I have to disagree with your comment about the casino. Trading is only gambling if you treat it that way. There is a mathematical advantage to buying and selling at any point during the day, as long as you know how to manage trades. The markets are controlled by institutions, who I assure you are not gambling, and neither should you; unless of course you like giving your money back to the banks who are already stealing from us everyday citizens.

Dabears - speaking from experience, dont start out trying to scalp. Scalping requires high probability and a high winning percentage which is nearly impossible for beginners. And if you are going to scalp, make sure to hold for atleast 1X risk and never scalp for less than your minimum risk tolerance. But this still requires a high winning percentage (60%). I too started out scalping, and it made it more difficult for me later on (you get used to exiting quickly and it becomes a habit / painful to stay in a trade longer). Beginning traders should only swing trade (2X risk)

Also; avoid all indicators (except an EMA), stick to one market, one time frame, one chart until you become a consistently profitable trader. I would suggest forex for your first market since the "cost of tuition" is low versus other markets (again speaking from experience, I started and lost a lot of money in the Emini when I had no business attempting to trade that market). Think of the ES / other markets as the professional football team and you are playing for on your varsity high school team. You need to prove yourself and go through the stages of becoming a trader before even attempting to join the professional team.

But MOST IMPORTANTLY remember trading is all about math, and always rely on the traders equation.

Reward X % of success must be greater than risk x % of failure

For example
40% probability must be a swing trade (2X risk) (0.40X20 pips > 0.60x10 pips)
60% is acceptable to scalp (reward must be equal to risk) (0.60x10pips > 0.40x10pips)

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  #9 (permalink)
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Thanks for the feedback @Comeback King and @mastercraft29.

That advice makes a lot of sense regarding scalping and how it can create bad habits, as well as the ES being the big league market compared to forex. A couple questions about this:

The reason I am starting with a scalping strategy right now is because I am still in school and have limited hours to trade each day, if any, so I thought scalping would fit this mold better because I would be getting in and out of trades quickly compared to swing trading. Do you think I would be able to swing trade with these time constraints? I have been looking for and hitting about a 1.5x risk the first three days that I've been at it, so I guess my strategy is a mix between swing and scalping?

Since I am on the sim, does the market I am trading matter, or would it help the learning curve to start on forex? I am not really sure if you mean real money by the "cost of tuition" or something else like identifying patterns, order flow, etc...

Thanks for the help! I really appreciate it.

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Posts: 131 since Jan 2017
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1/17/17

Pretty good day. Had to leave at 1 PM so missed a big move as you can see below. Overall pretty happy with my trades and stuck to the strategy, didn't try to force anything.

Trade 1: Short at 2261 b/c thought the trend would continue. Stopped out at 62.50. -1.5

Trade 2: Long at 2261.25 after HH/HL and a couple green candles right at S2. Risked 1.25, set target right at S1, hit it for +2.

Trade 3: Long at 2266 on continuation of the large movement. Risked 1.25, set target right at the daily PP, +1.25

Trade 4: Liked this set up, but order flow started to go against me and couldn't get up to that high. Got out manually. Good decision. +.25

Trade 5: Got long at 63.25 on an expected reversal right at the US open level. Risk 1.25 right under the low, set target at the 200 MA. Could've gotten more out of it, but decent scalp. +1.5

Net: +4

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