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"Less is More": Permeant's trading journal (CL & ES)
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"Less is More": Permeant's trading journal (CL & ES)

  #11 (permalink)
Toronto Canada
 
 
Posts: 43 since Jan 2017
Thanks: 4 given, 94 received

The problem with CL on the 21st was that there was no really well defined trend. You entered thinking there was going to be one and it didn't happen. This is going to happen on occasion.

Interestingly on your first trade I would have gone long at that exact same point as I would have taken that reversal as bullish momentum support and not as a bearish break out....of course I would have got stopped out too.

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  #12 (permalink)
Minneapolis, MN
 
 
Posts: 45 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 134 given, 73 received

2/22/2017: Back on track (1-0-2)

3 trades today, 1 win and 2 BE.

After a week of journaling some inconsistent trading (in terms of staying with the plan), EOD yesterday I resolved to have zero tolerance from deviations from the plan. Glad to report that I was able to stick to that today.

CL was in a pretty tight 30 cent TR all day today with one failed attempt to break to the down side - I was fortunate to catch that for the one win.

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Trade 1: Long CL (opening reversal) (-1 tick)

CL opened sharply lower from yesterday's close but the opening swing was pretty weak. I bought the opening reversal and it went 9 ticks in my favor but then came back down, so I scratched the trade in case it continued past the LOD.

Trade 2: Short CL on second attempt to reverse (+0 ticks)

After a couple of attempts up, I sold the second reversal attempt with targets below (LOD of last Thu/Fri). Again no dice - it went 9 ticks in my favor and bounced back up. So I scratched again.

Trade 3: Short CL on reversal attempt at EMA with double top (+20 ticks)

Hit the EMA for a swing double top but the very next bar was a perfect reversal bar, so I sold that. So far we have a tight trading range but I was thinking it would try to break out of it at some point and the bears seem to have the advantage. After a small pullback there was a sharp spike down to fill my target (almost to the tick) and bounced back into the TR.

That was it for the day. It was definitely a limit order scalper's market and I was fortunate to eke out a stop-order win.

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  #13 (permalink)
Tampa, FL/USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradingView
Favorite Futures: NQ, ES
 
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Posts: 256 since Aug 2016
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Nice job sticking to your plan. Slow and steady wins the race.

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  #14 (permalink)
Minneapolis, MN
 
 
Posts: 45 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 134 given, 73 received

2/23/2017: Another day of backsliding and bad trading (0-4-2)

Zero tolerance policy was not in effect today, it was more like infinite regression and very humbling. Six trades and no winners, with a loss for the day when sticking to my trading plan would have made a nice profit.

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Trade 1: Long CL at the top of bar 1. (-10 ticks)

This was an impulse trade - after the nice upswing before the open, I was looking for it to test the high of tuesday. But I bought at the very top, right above a previous swing high. I had to let it go for a loss of 10 ticks. What's worse, it kept me from going short on opening reversal which would've been a nice trade.

Trade 2: Long CL on a second attempt to reverse up on bar 11. (+1 tick)

This was a good trade, looking to test HOD before 10AM EIA report. I moved my stop to BE when it went +10 ticks but it started coming back down before it hit my +20 tick target and I was stopped out. On the first bar of the report it went up to my profit target but I wouldn't want to hold this into the report, so I'm ok with this trade.

Trade 3: Short CL after the report on bar 27. (-10 ticks)

This was an impulse trade also because I was getting impatient on not seeing a pullback entry to get short after the report. It would've worked out BE if I used the right stop above the signal bar but I had a weak and tight stop which got hit on the entry bar itself. Mediocre entry with awful management.

Trade 4: Short CL after the report on bar 28. (+0 ticks)

After the getting stopped out on the last trade, I got short again on the very next bar, which went 13 ticks in my favor before getting stopped out BE. Mediocre entry with ok management.

Trade 5: Long CL on the first reversal attempt after the report on bar 32. (-22 ticks)

We're definitely in overtrading territory now because I'm getting impatient and flailing around to find a trade rather than wait for clarity. Obviously the first reversal has little chance to succeed and I get stopped out near the LOD for a significant loss. Bad entry that can't be saved by good management.

Trade 6: Long CL on the second reversal attempt on bar 37. (-4 ticks)

Got long again on the second attempt up. This is not in my trading plan either but at this point there is no plan, just doing what looks good. It behaved well and went +18 ticks before coming back down. Instead of having my stop at BE or below the entry bar, I move it to under the big bull bar, which gets hit exactly to the tick before going up again. OK entry with bad management.

That was painful to write up but I need to own my lack of discipline in sticking to the plan. Nothing to do but figure out ways to execute the plan without getting into impulse trades.

Thanks for reading!

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  #15 (permalink)
Phoenix + AZ/USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: ES, NQ, YM, CL and GC
 
Posts: 505 since Jul 2014
Thanks: 2,471 given, 822 received

Just some thoughts for you to think about

No 2 people are exactly alike and therefore no traders are exactly alike in their strategies, account sizes, comfort levels and their risk tolerance. So take what I am about to say with a grain of salt. Maybe it will help you formulate some rules or guidelines that will fit your personality and trading style.

What I am about to share helps me with my entries and risk management and hopefully may help you as well with your entries and stops. Many traders using the 5 minute like to use the "2 Bar Back Trailing Method". Knowing this helps me a lot with my entries. For instance on trade 3 you were right on your analysis your stop was just there for the taking with the normal ebb and flow of the market. However, had you considered entering back where you stop was located or better yet even higher closer to the moving average and placed your stop 1 tick above the high of bar 25 (2 bearish bars back) and looked for a 1:1 trade or a little more you would have been just fine.

Greed is one the major pitfalls of most traders as well as the mindset of getting rich quick thru trading. CL likes to move near 10 tick increments with its ebb and flow you don't need big winners to make a decent living in my opinion. My first target is usually somewhere between 10 and 15 ticks. My ATM's are set as follows my stop moves to BE at +9 and BE+1 at 10 ticks. I would be totally upset with myself (now days) if I had a trade go +18 and then ended up with a loser. Think about it this way, that is $180 / day or over $22 an hour and more than most teachers make in the state of AZ (where I live) in a day. On trade 6 where you went from $180 to minus $40 and the trade closed you had a big clue to close the trade with some money in your wallet. When the 2S triggered 1 tick below bar 42 I would have closed my trade. If you had been using the 2 bar trailing method you would have been stopped out 1 tick below the low of bar 40 which still would have given you some money in your pocket (at least enough for lunch which is better than paying for someone's lunch you don't know).

Consider this: There are approximately 240 trading days in a year. If I average about $300 / day that is about $72,000 / year where I don't have to worry about driving to work and back in rush hour and all the associated expenses connected with a job (gas, clothing, child care, etc.). What if I made only $240 / day that is about $57,600 / year still more than what most people in America earn (if I remember correctly). I guess what I am trying to say is this 2 trades a day at +12 on CL equals $240 / day. Can you find 2 12 tick or 10 to 15 tick trades in a day and do that over and over every day? I believe anyone can! If you need a raise just add 1 contract to 1 trade.

I know a lot of people may not like nor agree with what I said above but it makes sense to me and helps me follow my trading motto: "Don't be controlled by greed! Led by fear! or Puffed up with pride!

The key is "Discipline" to follow our trade plans and yes to wait for the "setups" to occur and if we miss one which happens to me all the time (usually by 1 tick) just know that there will always be another setup.

Hope this may help you!

Don't be controlled by GREED, Led by FEAR, or Puffed up with PRIDE!
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  #16 (permalink)
Minneapolis, MN
 
 
Posts: 45 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 134 given, 73 received

Thanks!

BoltTrader, I deeply appreciate you taking the time to write this up. What you say re: greed (and trades 3 and 6) is totally true.

I'll think about the ATM strategies you described and see if I should borrow something from them (such as settling for 10 ticks as the first target). What currently bothers me more than anything else (and what I'm trying to work out via this journal) is that even my current trading plan is quite profitable if I only stick to it and not go off on some impulse.

Thanks!


BoltTrader View Post
No 2 people are exactly alike and therefore no traders are exactly alike in their strategies, account sizes, comfort levels and their risk tolerance. So take what I am about to say with a grain of salt. Maybe it will help you formulate some rules or guidelines that will fit your personality and trading style.

What I am about to share helps me with my entries and risk management and hopefully may help you as well with your entries and stops. Many traders using the 5 minute like to use the "2 Bar Back Trailing Method". Knowing this helps me a lot with my entries. For instance on trade 3 you were right on your analysis your stop was just there for the taking with the normal ebb and flow of the market. However, had you considered entering back where you stop was located or better yet even higher closer to the moving average and placed your stop 1 tick above the high of bar 25 (2 bearish bars back) and looked for a 1:1 trade or a little more you would have been just fine.

Greed is one the major pitfalls of most traders as well as the mindset of getting rich quick thru trading. CL likes to move near 10 tick increments with its ebb and flow you don't need big winners to make a decent living in my opinion. My first target is usually somewhere between 10 and 15 ticks. My ATM's are set as follows my stop moves to BE at +9 and BE+1 at 10 ticks. I would be totally upset with myself (now days) if I had a trade go +18 and then ended up with a loser. Think about it this way, that is $180 / day or over $22 an hour and more than most teachers make in the state of AZ (where I live) in a day. On trade 6 where you went from $180 to minus $40 and the trade closed you had a big clue to close the trade with some money in your wallet. When the 2S triggered 1 tick below bar 42 I would have closed my trade. If you had been using the 2 bar trailing method you would have been stopped out 1 tick below the low of bar 40 which still would have given you some money in your pocket (at least enough for lunch which is better than paying for someone's lunch you don't know).

Consider this: There are approximately 240 trading days in a year. If I average about $300 / day that is about $72,000 / year where I don't have to worry about driving to work and back in rush hour and all the associated expenses connected with a job (gas, clothing, child care, etc.). What if I made only $240 / day that is about $57,600 / year still more than what most people in America earn (if I remember correctly). I guess what I am trying to say is this 2 trades a day at +12 on CL equals $240 / day. Can you find 2 12 tick or 10 to 15 tick trades in a day and do that over and over every day? I believe anyone can! If you need a raise just add 1 contract to 1 trade.

I know a lot of people may not like nor agree with what I said above but it makes sense to me and helps me follow my trading motto: "Don't be controlled by greed! Led by fear! or Puffed up with pride!

The key is "Discipline" to follow our trade plans and yes to wait for the "setups" to occur and if we miss one which happens to me all the time (usually by 1 tick) just know that there will always be another setup.

Hope this may help you!


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  #17 (permalink)
SF, CA/USA
 
Trading Experience: Beginner
Platform: SC
Broker/Data: Stage 5
Favorite Futures: ES, 6E, sometimes NQ, and occasionally CL
 
jackbravo's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,332 since Jun 2014
Thanks: 4,222 given, 2,378 received

I like what @BoltTrader said as well. And like him, I found my CL turned around when I started using 2 contracts at a time. One scalper and runner. My ATM is setup similar to his, with the first contact off at 10 ticks (probably most popular number, that's why sometimes it stops at 9 ticks). My stops don't move like his though. I think with CL, it's hard to have accurate entries consistently, so a second contract helps by grabbing a small part of the price action in case the entry is in the wrong position or mistimed

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"It does not matter how slowly you go, as long as you do not stop." Confucius
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  #18 (permalink)
Minneapolis, MN
 
 
Posts: 45 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 134 given, 73 received

2/24/2017: OK entries, bad mgmt (0-3)

Better discipline today sticking to planned entries, but not managed well, losing more money than I would've, had they been correctly managed.

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Trade 1: Short CL on bar 9 (opening reversal) (-12 ticks)

Given the lower open and dojis on the first two bars, I thought this was a reasonable reversal candidate. But it went +6 ticks before reversing and stopping me out. There was some slippage on the stop order, so instead of losing 8 ticks, I lost 12. But this was what I'd call a "good loss" - planned and executed well, though it didn't work out.

Trade 2: Short CL on bar 15 (A2 - second reversal attempt at EMA) (-11 ticks)

Again, I thought it was a good trade but my trade mgmt was not good. Instead of putting the stop beyond the swing high, I put it beyond the signal bar (hoping to lose fewer ticks if it went against me, given the slippage on the first trade), which stopped me out. Had I placed the stop correctly this trade would've given me +10 ticks or BE at worst. So the bad management cost me 11 ticks here, plus another 6 ticks on the next trade because there wouldn't be a trade 3 if this was managed correctly.

Trade 3: Short CL on bar 21 (A4 - 4th reversal attempt at EMA along with double top) (-6 ticks)

I reentered short on the double top but once again my stop was right there for the taking (because I was getting nervous about a bull spike to test the bear trend line). After this trade I was past the daily loss limit, so I cut my losses and quit for the day.

All in all, I lost 29 ticks on a day when I could've limited my loss to 12 ticks with correct management. A good learning experience that you shouldn't be in the trade if you can't afford (or too nervous) to put the stop where it belongs.

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  #19 (permalink)
Minneapolis, MN
 
 
Posts: 45 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 134 given, 73 received

2/27/2017: Good discipline, small loss (0-2-1)

3 trades today, none of them on impulse, so I feel good about the discipline part of it.

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Trade 1: Long CL on bar 4 (OR) (-7 ticks)
Probably won't work given the location at Thursday's swing high double top, but I'm committed to taking my setups. When it went +5 ticks and set up a L2 at the swing high, I moved my stop to below the entry bar, which got hit after a failed H2. One tick slippage on the stop order, so it might go further down (may be to the 20-EMA) but I'll wait for a good entry in either direction.

BOPB short entry on bar 12 but not taking it at the bottom of the opening range. Would've worked very nicely though.

Trade 2: Short CL on bar 16 (BOPB) (+2 ticks)

Given how strongly it fell through the opening range bottom and the EMA, I was happy to take this short, with targets below (FRI close and FRI LOD). It quickly went +9, then reversed back up to -10, then back down to +10. I moved my stop at this point to +1, which got hit. There was 1 tick slippage in my favor, so I might be getting stopped out of a good trade but nothing I can do about that. This was a good scratch, as it went on to take out where my original stop would've been.

Trade 3: Short CL on bar 27 (A2) (-8 ticks)

Tried to go up from double bottom and failed, so I shorted the second sell signal at the EMA (and the bear trend line). I waited till it fell below the H2 bull entry bar, in case the sell signal was a bear trap, but that means I'm entering 4 ticks lower as a result. After decent follow through on the next bar, my stop is above the entry bar. Stop got hit and I'm out for -8 ticks. You could argue for leaving the stop above the swing high, but two reasons I got out: 1) Decent bull strength w/ triple bottom and second attempt up through the bear trend line. 2) If entered below the correct signal bar, I would've hit +10 ticks and moved my stop to BE, so it makes sense to tighten my stop here.

After two losses and at -13 ticks, I'm out for the day. Later on I see that the second trade would've worked out on the last bar of the day, but I was unwilling to risk such a large stop, so them's the breaks.

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  #20 (permalink)
Minneapolis, MN
 
 
Posts: 45 since Jul 2011
Thanks: 134 given, 73 received

2/28/2017: Bad trading, small loss (1-1-2)


OK entries today (mostly) but not well managed.

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Trade 1: Long CL on bar 5 (opening reversal) (BE)

Good looking bottom near the LOD of 2/22. There is a decent chance that we'll go down to test it first, but perhaps we'll test the HOD of 2/22 as well as the EMA first. After going -3 ticks, trade goes fast to +14 (S2 pivot), then stalls. Moved stop to BE, which got hit. Some regrets on not taking scalp profit at +10 ticks, but that was the risk of going for +20.

Trade 2: Short CL on bar 30 (BOPB) (-20 ticks)

This was not a bad entry, even though it's at the bottom of the multi-day trading range. But my entry bar was a bull bar, so I had many good options to manage this trade: 1) I could've exited above my signal bar and taken a small loss or 2) exited BE when it came back to test the bottom or 3) perhaps added one when the L2 triggered and exited both at original entr or 4) exited when the double bottom formed and the H2 triggered. But did I do any of these reasonable things? No. Stupidly I kept my original stop and waited for it to get hit. This is a case where I was just blind to the price action unfolding in front of my eyes.

Trade 3: Long CL on bar 58 (H1) and added on bar 60 (+16 ticks)

The first entry was ok, looking for the strong bull spike to continue. But I managed the trade pretty poorly. It went +14 ticks and had another pullback bar, I added another contract looking for it to close the opening gap. Here I'm adding too close to the original entry so there is no way I can move my stop to BE for the whole position per plan. So of course it comes back past my original entry point and I'm staring at piling up red in horror. But I kep my stop for both below the BO point and fortunately got bailed out when bounced up past my second entry and closed the gap. But given the pull back I sat through, I was no longer satisfied with the gap close target, so I moved them up to the MM target to justify the huge risk I took. I had to liquidate the position when it came back to the second entry, so I ended up with +16 for the two contracts, which is worse than if I just kept the first or got out of both at the gap close as planned. Just all around stupid and greedy and insane risk for the realized profit.

I was lucky the day only cost me -4 ticks. Could've been far worse.

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