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Mighty's Trading Journal 2017


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Mighty's Trading Journal 2017

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  #1 (permalink)
Albany, New York, USA & sometimes Central Florida
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Tradovate+Jigsaw, TOS
Broker: Tradovate/CQG, TOS/Pony Express
Trading: Energies, Indexes, Grains
 
Posts: 159 since Mar 2016
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My Journal Purpose:
To have a record of my trading so I can see my strengths and weaknesses better so I can learn how to maximize them and trade well with who I am and who the market is.

Products:
CL, ES, ZC, ZS

Style:
Short time frame setups via, momentum, range reversion, orderflow - watching the book for signals of position building, position defense, position stop exits

Tools:

Charting for Big picture price structure - Thinkorswim with 1-15 minute, Daily, and 100-400 tick charts

Studies - Volume Profile, VWAP, Open Range Levels, others will be added and subtracted as I adjust and grow.

Depth of Market order book - Jigsaw Trading's Rapid Trader Pro (this is where my focus is primarily during trades)

Understood weaknesses of my past that I am working on:
1) Over Trading (not defined by number of trades but by my FOMO or my desire to achieve more right now, which results in trading poor setups or sometimes no setups at all and almost always ends in a losing day)
2) Rushing to book small profits when the setup or orderflow has not sent a signal to do so. I do take many small profits as that is really my trading plan as a scalper but many times I give up the big wins for a small one out of fear.

Understood strengths of my past that I am working on:
1) Patience pays and I have seen that many times in entries and exits
2) My value of keeping losses small
-As in my ah ha moment, NEVER TAKE A BIG LOSS Keeping Risk proportionate from entry to exit has truly been a game changer for me. Many times I could have several good days in a row and then one day give it all back as I would change risk allowances on the fly because of faulty reasoning. So simple to say and yet it was quite a hurdle for me to get over

Disclaimer: In the beginning this journal will be about my trading in a topstep trader combine. Once that is completed and if I have passed FTP I will continue to journal as a funded trader. Thanks for visiting my journal.

-Mighty

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  #3 (permalink)
Albany, New York, USA & sometimes Central Florida
 
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First Day of a new 15 lot combine at Topstep Trader. Slowly I am building a small library of setups and scenarios to trade. I come in each day with a structure that I view the market with and look for setups to trade.

The Grey box is how Rapidtraderpro parses the trades and the white box at the bottom of the image is how Topstep parses the trades.

In the white topstep box the numbers are from left to right as follows

Net P&L - High P&L - Low P&L - Total Contracts - Total Commissions - Total Trades - Avg Win - Avg Loss - Win% - Max Consecutive W/L Trades - Average W/L duration

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Albany, New York, USA & sometimes Central Florida
 
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Day two, and several times I took on more risk than I should have and was fortunate to get out with out the big loss that I am focused on avoiding.

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Albany, New York, USA & sometimes Central Florida
 
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One thing that has gotten better for me with experience but still needs much work (comes with experience I believe) is how I feel after a good day or good week. Either I get sloppy or really hesitant and neither of those responses result in good trading. I fear that the longer a win streak goes on the more I struggle with it.

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NYC, NY
 
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Have u thought about commissions with these many trades?


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Albany, New York, USA & sometimes Central Florida
 
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jokertrader View Post
Have u thought about commissions with these many trades?


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Hey Jokertrader,
Good question, in the grey boxes the commissions and fees are not figured in, but in the smaller white box at the bottom the commissions are preset and calculated into the P&L. The total commissions and fees are listed for each day of trading.

While I agree that I would like to be able to stay in winning trades longer and capture larger wins I have not arrived at a way to do that. I am not advocating that others "scalp" or trade very short term, it is just that as I have traded off and on for a while that style most fits my allowable risk. It is my hope and goal that as I gain more experience I will be able to stretch out my winning trades and find a consistent method for doing that profitably. For now as part of my trading a portion of my trades that look like really small winners were actually losers that I was able to get out just above scratch. This can look really bad in some ways, I however see it as my willingness to take a small loss or very small win when the trade entry reason is broken, instead of taking a loss at my initial risk.

Sorry for my rambling, thanks for the question
Otto

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Albany, New York, USA & sometimes Central Florida
 
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Albany, New York, USA & sometimes Central Florida
 
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Sadly today I showed just how unprofessional I can be. Without launching into a long discussion and "rant" about all that is involved, I would say that everything boils down to proportionate risk. When I allow the market to take more from me than I should I have failed at my duties. That is what I did today.

1 Sometimes that's out of fear of taking a small loss.
2 Sometimes that's out of greed in putting on too much risk in the initial position (ie larger size or poor entry meaning my stop has to be to far away).
3 Sometimes it's from trading angry at a loss so #2
4 Sometimes it's from trading scared that I'm going to break a win streak so I trade with hesitancy which produces poor entries and smaller than usual winning trades.

Anyway I will learn from my error and re up with topstep. I am committed to pushing through this obstacle.

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Market Wizard
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Mightynorsman View Post

Nice work, Otto. As a fellow scalper, I get a lot of commission questions. I see why people ask, but it still makes me laugh. Commissions are the cost of doing business. I run my business on scalps, and I factor in the costs of doing that, just like any other business person. If I try to trade for big targets, I have low commissions and small profits. If I scalp, I have high commissions but also high profits. So, I go for the latter. I'd rather make 1000 bucks and pay $200 in commissions than make $320 with $8 in commissions.

You gotta do what works for you, so good on you for doing it.

Cheers,

Michael

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Albany, New York, USA & sometimes Central Florida
 
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Todays Stats are not part of a combine as I traded today without renewing my combine. I needed to focus specifically on controlling my risk at every moment of my trading. I will renew tomorrow and start fresh again.

On another note while I hate the idea of paying to trade "sim" in the combine several positive things have come to mind.
1) big losses don't hurt my wallet nearly as much as they used to and success leads to an open door for more
2) it's not just trading sim as I have my combine cost at risk (much smaller risk than my small savings) and I have at risk a great opportunity.
3) with more accountability I am able to see a more true reflection of my trading and make meaningful progress.

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prague
 
 
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Mightynorsman View Post


Sadly today I showed just how unprofessional I can be. Without launching into a long discussion and "rant" about all that is involved, I would say that everything boils down to proportionate risk. When I allow the market to take more from me than I should I have failed at my duties. That is what I did today.

1 Sometimes that's out of fear of taking a small loss.
2 Sometimes that's out of greed in putting on too much risk in the initial position (ie larger size or poor entry meaning my stop has to be to far away).
3 Sometimes it's from trading angry at a loss so #2
4 Sometimes it's from trading scared that I'm going to break a win streak so I trade with hesitancy which produces poor entries and smaller than usual winning trades.

Anyway I will learn from my error and re up with topstep. I am committed to pushing through this obstacle.

isnt today 21.4.? i dont get the dates.. am i so crazy already?

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Albany, New York, USA & sometimes Central Florida
 
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nirvikalpasamadhi View Post
isnt today 21.4.? i dont get the dates.. am i so crazy already?

Yes lol today is the 21st but I was posting my journal and stats for the 18th

thanks for stopping in

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prague
 
 
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Mightynorsman View Post
Yes lol today is the 21st but I was posting my journal and stats for the 18th

thanks for stopping in

ok, you know.. sometimes i dont really know what the day is. but today i knew it was friday, cos the charts are slow like hell

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Albany, New York, USA & sometimes Central Florida
 
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I definitely have much to work on. I struggled today to have good entries and get a clear view of where I wanted to trade. Glad to put today behind me without any bad scars on my trading.

One thing that I would like to remind myself daily is that no one can produce from something they don't understand. Meaning if I am confused or not reading the market well how can I produce profits, why would I put on risk. Risk should be proportionate to the level of my confidence. That's not saying that confidence is the source of success but I must be working from and understood structure so I can decide how to adjust if it's not working.

1-10 Score
Preparation = 4
Execution = 5

Biggest Positive = Using correct risk for 90% of my trades
Biggest Negative= Allowing day ruining risk in one trade even though it didn't turn out bad

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nice journal, otto
it seems like you're on your way to pass TST

I'm guessing your entries/exits are very subjective, allowing for the occasional bigger losers?
Are you entering solely off the order book, or utilizing chart p.a. as well?

Sounds like your trading isn't far off from Michael's

Cheers

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Elite_Member
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Regarding commission remember that live costs are a little bit more, $0.90 per round turn, than the Combine commission ($4.58 rather than $3.68).
Having said that though, Nymex seats are remarkably cheap to lease. . Courtesy of SMCJB You only have to be doing 264 round turns a month to cover the cost through saving $1.90 on the exchange fee. Anybody trading their own account with decent volume on the Nymex and paying full price is just throwing their money away. No idea how or if that is applicable when trading somebody else's account though as one would be with TST.

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Albany, New York, USA & sometimes Central Florida
 
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Well, not much to say except that at the end of April as I was out of a combine and there was much farm work needing to be done for spring planting I focused on that. I was also dealing with a blown out disk in my lower back and meeting doctors to see what could be done. And truthfully I was also pretty disgusted with myself for how I had squandered yet another opportunity. I am committed to success here and will continue to learn and work on what I need too, to become a successful trader.

Sorry I left without answering some questions, you all asked. Yes my entries and exits are somewhat subjective based on the order book. I do have structure that I come to the day with, loosely based on market profile and other points of confluence and interest. Those "levels" and structure provide me places of possible entries and exits, targets and stops and in general they are areas to focus on the order book. Of course I also have some money management goals that have an effect on entries and exits. Which allow or dont' allow me to look for a trade in those areas.

I have found that my style right now does not afford me very large wins. I am always searching for ways to tweak what I am doing to reach for more in each trade but have not found an effective way yet. Small wins add up for me and work well as long as I don't let that one big loss happen to destroy all that work.

Anyway thanks for all who have visited here and soon I will be journaling again here.

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Market Wizard
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It's been a wet summer.
How does that impact your crops?

Will corn yields be negatively effected this year if it doesn't start to get drier?

..........
peace, love and joy to you
.........
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Albany, New York, USA & sometimes Central Florida
 
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aquarian1 View Post
It's been a wet summer.
How does that impact your crops?

Will corn yields be negatively effected this year if it doesn't start to get drier?

It sure has been a wet spring and summer. The ONLY good thing about that is/was that it gave me an easier time to recoup from a blown out disk in my lower back. In my local area all corn yields will be way down. In fact many have already started crop insurance claims. Quite a few claimed acres that they were never able to get planted and some claimed for replanting acres. I planted later than usual but it still was so wet and cool that I will probably get 50% of my usuall yield. However all this said, the corn market doesn't really care what happens in upstate NY so price won't be effected by our area. What matters is the states that start with I (Illinois, Iowa, Indiana) and a few others (Nebraska, Minnesota, Dakota's, ect) They have a saying out there "Rain makes Grain" and from what relatives out there tell me they have a very nice looking crop.

So I guess I am fortunate that I decided to plant less acres of corn and more of soybeans this year. The beans are doing "ok" and so far the price is holding up a little better. One site I like to listen to for corn and bean price info is Allendale Advisory Center They usually offer some good insight on what might be driving the markets and what's to come. I just watch their free morning commentary. Anyway didn't mean to make this so long.

Thanks for asking

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Albany, New York, USA & sometimes Central Florida
 
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Have wanted to log this weeks trading (I guess I didn't want to bad enough though because it's Friday night and I'm just getting to it.)

I have started another Topstep Trader Combine. It felt like I was starting all over again, and it took me a couple/three days to get back into the swing of things but I am feeling more and more comfortable each day as I trade. Sometimes journaling has been very beneficial (all the time really) but sometimes it seems like it's easy to discuss concepts and make them sound so concrete, like a math equation (Risk/Reward ratio + win rate= edge). And while I agree in concept and the general understanding of what has to happen sometimes it seems to easily explained in that way. There is a lot more complexity in achieving that in the relationships between strategy, market, money management and account. Anyway not wanting to make that a big topic just thinking about it as I start logging my process again.

I have completed 6 days of trading and will post those results as they are configured by topstep.

Day 1
I was uneasy (jittery actually) and struggled all morning going in the hole over $700. However by end of the day I was quite excited that I was able to keep my composure and let small winners pile up to just above break even.

Day 2
I was relaxed and confident to start but allowed my nemesis to come back in and almost felt like "will I ever stop being sooooo stupid" as I held on to losers and then added size to attempt a "comeback" foolishly. At some point I could tell what I was doing so I just stopped. That night I dug down and re-traded the day on 2X the speed to try to correct the habit. I also picked some other days and just tried to reinforce what I should do in random situations.

Days 3, 4, 5 & 6,
I have been able to keep a level head, sadly all of these days have had drawdowns and issues that I still need to work on but thankfully I have been able to stay focused on how I should act and re-act. Every trade is new, meaning the past is just that, the past. Bad or good makes no difference, my thought is "ok what's next and how can this next trade be profitable?" Not in an overtrading way either but in an objective way that stays anchored in the context of today's market and how can my style of trading best take advantage of it.

Thanks for coming back and reading all that . Please feel free to ask any questions or give any critiques.

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  #22 (permalink)
Albany, New York, USA & sometimes Central Florida
 
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Today was an interesting day for me. I am always enticed to look at and sometimes wish for those longer time frame "swing" trades and in looking at the market last night doing analysis I agreed with many others that I thought it would go down from near the 49 level. So even though it is not in my plan I began building a short position last night shorting above 48.80. By 12:30 am EST I was quite tired and disgusted with myself for "trying" something other than my plan so I exited for $77+/- profit and went to sleep. All morning I kept trying to find places to get short as I was still biased in this way as the market krept upward. Finally after digging a small hole from getting stopped out of short positions, I re-focused on my plan and stopped holding trades as long. My targets are usually 5-10 ticks sometimes in a truly big move I will just let a portion of it run. Well the big swoosh down finally came and I was able to get bits and pieces of it scalping it downward. Sure it would have been nice to hold 5-6 contracts for that whole move and hopefully as I grow in experience and knowledge and skill I will be able to work that into my system. But for now I will do what has gotten me this far.

I am really a momentum scalper I guess. Where I am picking levels of importance, and with some bias, watching those levels in the order book for clues. I tend to like trades where I get pulled in with resting stops. These are usually continuation trades, and they have a quick burst because other stops were triggered. For some reason my mind tends to look for continuation more often than I do reversals. One area to work on, I need to incorporate into my prep, things that help me see if it's possibly a range day or a trend day, as that could help me focus on trades that do better in each situation.

Anyway I'm glad for my biggest winning day yet and will continue to work hard at remaining in context and trading my method.

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  #23 (permalink)
IJsselstein-Utrecht - The Netherlands
 
 
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Hi Otto,

You are really doing great!
Keep on going and You will pass the Combine



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  #24 (permalink)
Albany, New York, USA & sometimes Central Florida
 
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Another interesting day to analyze. I started the day out with some very small trades and it seemed like the volume was somewhat low and the action quite slow. It caused me to tighten up my stops and targets as there just wasn't the normal range of motion in the moves that I trade. I did recognize that it was somewhat of a poor market state for me to be trading but thought that I could adjust and while I might have a smaller day I would still try to make the most of it. And really I did that for the morning session to where just before noon I was up $206+/- profit. However because the market wasn't great for scalping and because I was getting tighter and tighter with targets and stops I probably should have just quit.

As many of us do I just wanted to hang around for a crack at the market in case some movement came in so I stayed until the close. Sadly little by little I payed the price for being in the market with out good conditions or a good adjustment to those conditions, until I was slightly negative on the day. I fought tooth and nail (atleast it felt like it) to get back to positive territory. Being very strict with risk and taking multiple small wins.

It didn't feel good to not reach the lofty ambitions I had for today. It didn't feel good to give up the small amount I had built throughout the day. I am however thankful that 1) The day ended up positive and 2) That I can learn to either make better adjustments or recognize that I am not able to make the adjustments needed so I should just stop trading. Every day that I can learn something is a good day!


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  #25 (permalink)
Elite_Member
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Hi,
Looks like you are doing well. I only read this page and skimmed the other two, so maybe you have addressed this already. The one thing that jumps out at me is that your P&L Low is always pretty large compared to how you end the day. So you seem to be mostly losing money initially then digging yourself out the hole to come back in to profit. Simplistically, keeping the winning trades the same, you'd be making twice as much if you weren't losing so much at the beginning. Of course there will be losses, but I think for me, and a lot of people, just really focussing on reducing by a small amount the number or size of the losses could make a big difference to overall performance.

Trading, ideally structured, is a vehicle for expanding consciousness, not damaging it. - Brett Steenbarger
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  #26 (permalink)
Albany, New York, USA & sometimes Central Florida
 
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matthew28 View Post
Hi,
Looks like you are doing well. I only read this page and skimmed the other two, so maybe you have addressed this already. The one thing that jumps out at me is that your P&L Low is always pretty large compared to how you end the day. So you seem to be mostly losing money initially then digging yourself out the hole to come back in to profit. Simplistically, keeping the winning trades the same, you'd be making twice as much if you weren't losing so much at the beginning. Of course there will be losses, but I think for me, and a lot of people, just really focussing on reducing by a small amount the number or size of the losses could make a big difference to overall performance.

Hey Matt you are right. I noticed that as well when looking at the big picture of the results. There are several things in that data that show big holes in my trading that I need to fix.

1) Keeping P/L lows from getting too big in the start of the day. Solution: Working into the session with possibly a little more precision and maybe less size initially (I already kinda do that) until I build a nice start. Somes times those lows have actually come mid-day from holding a trade too long and then I've traded until the close to get it back. (definitely should not happen)

2) Doing ok on trend days and really struggling sometimes on range days. This could possibly be due to being unprepared and not having the market structured from the night before. As a scalper especially, I think I should be do well on range days and then be able to possibly stretch targets and do even better on trend days.

3) Time in Winning trades is usually about half as long as time in losing trades. I struggle with this one. I agree that losers should be cut quickly and that winners should atleast be given ample time to hit targets but sometimes my losers I actually get out for +1-2 ticks so it makes my winners look even shorter. I'm not sure that the data is exactly representative but I do know I can work on it some. Probably the best place to start will be in cutting the losers quicker. The winning trades often by style are rather short trades and when they don't work, that's usually when I am holding them waiting and waiting and then taking a bigger loss than I should. So I will need to work on taking the losses as soon as the trade shows it's not gonna work.

That was longer than I mean't it to be
Thanks for reading,
Otto

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  #27 (permalink)
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Truly disgusted with myself. Today I traded with some fear and apprehension. I remember thinking I really don't want this loss and I held several trades way to long giving my stop some extra room. If I am ever going to be a full time trader this cannot be. There is just no place for risking all that work and money for one trade. This is my nemesis, it has plagued my trading for some time. It seems to happen just when I put together a good streak or sometimes after I've had a really good day. I know it's something many new traders have had to deal with including me and I will conquer it. I'm just disgusted lol, soooo stupid.

So I will work at breaking this habit and build a strong aversion to letting risk get to big in hopes of it coming back. If it never get's to big my trading should be profitable. I am usually around 60-65% winrate. Anway this is just one of many things that can make my trading so much better than it is. Soooo I must work on this.

Here are the very sad results

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  #28 (permalink)
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Not wanting to fall off the horse and take too long to get back on I reset the combine and re-committed to doing this right. Today's results are really not very good. I came into the day late as I had to do some errand running this morning and couldn't get started until after 10:30 EST.

I seem to get stuck sometimes wanting to only trade a certain setup instead of being flexible to the market conditions and that is what happened today. I am working too re-enforce the standard and keep risk equal to reward in every trade by looking at if my trades that I get stopped out on would have hit a double risk stop before they came back. I know that sometimes it can work out given enough time and room, but I cannot afford to lose more than my initial risk on every trade.

It would be interesting to hear from other scalpers if they struggled with this and possibly how they dealt with it.

Here are the results for today. Still too much p/l low and double the time in losers as the time in winners. Things to work on.


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  #29 (permalink)
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Mightynorsman View Post
Not wanting to fall off the horse and take too long to get back on I reset the combine and re-committed to doing this right. Today's results are really not very good. I came into the day late as I had to do some errand running this morning and couldn't get started until after 10:30 EST.

I seem to get stuck sometimes wanting to only trade a certain setup instead of being flexible to the market conditions and that is what happened today. I am working too re-enforce the standard and keep risk equal to reward in every trade by looking at if my trades that I get stopped out on would have hit a double risk stop before they came back. I know that sometimes it can work out given enough time and room, but I cannot afford to lose more than my initial risk on every trade.

It would be interesting to hear from other scalpers if they struggled with this and possibly how they dealt with it.

Here are the results for today. Still too much p/l low and double the time in losers as the time in winners. Things to work on.


Good to see that you got back on the horse right away! You will overcome your own challenge!

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  #30 (permalink)
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Mightynorsman View Post
Not wanting to fall off the horse and take too long to get back on I reset the combine and re-committed to doing this right. Today's results are really not very good. I came into the day late as I had to do some errand running this morning and couldn't get started until after 10:30 EST.

I seem to get stuck sometimes wanting to only trade a certain setup instead of being flexible to the market conditions and that is what happened today. I am working too re-enforce the standard and keep risk equal to reward in every trade by looking at if my trades that I get stopped out on would have hit a double risk stop before they came back. I know that sometimes it can work out given enough time and room, but I cannot afford to lose more than my initial risk on every trade.

It would be interesting to hear from other scalpers if they struggled with this and possibly how they dealt with it.

Here are the results for today. Still too much p/l low and double the time in losers as the time in winners. Things to work on.


I get that sometimes. It's straight tunnel-vision combined with fear. You are trying to force the market to do what you want, instead of vice versa. And we all know what the outcome of that usually is. For me the fear was missing out on potential profits, something I always struggled psychologically with on exits, which turns into regret, and then hesitation on the next trade(s).

If you can, just try reducing size instead of being too rigid in your R:R. Go up to the bigger combine to allow for decreased risk-per-trade, if necessary.

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  #31 (permalink)
Albany, New York, USA & sometimes Central Florida
 
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Taking today to read "the disciplined trader" by mark douglas. While I have much to work on in my trading, discipline and understanding what has kept me in this loop of doing well and then crashing is my focus this weekend. On Friday I again traded with fear tightening my stops and targets, not wanting to take a loss and acutally created that big loss that comes from a breakdown in discipline like many beginning traders. This book has been on my list of books to read for a while and am glad to be getting to it. I will edit this post with my thoughts on how the book has impacted me.

Not really wanting to post my results from Friday but here they are, desiring to move forward

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  #32 (permalink)
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@Mightynorsman It must be something in the air. Kind of The same thing happened to me.
Reading this kind of books are alway helpfull. So it is a good thing to do.
If you are interested in the audio book of 'trading in the zone' or a DVD-serie from Mark Douglas, just send me a private message with your email address and I will send it to you by WeTransfer.
..... I think I will go listening to it myself while taking a large walk


Sent from my iPhone using futures.io

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  #33 (permalink)
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Mightynorsman View Post
Taking today to read "the disciplined trader" by mark douglas. While I have much to work on in my trading, discipline and understanding what has kept me in this loop of doing well and then crashing is my focus this weekend. On Friday I again traded with fear tightening my stops and targets, not wanting to take a loss and acutally created that big loss that comes from a breakdown in discipline like many beginning traders. This book has been on my list of books to read for a while and am glad to be getting to it. I will edit this post with my thoughts on how the book has impacted me.

Not really wanting to post my results from Friday but here they are, desiring to move forward

Hi @Mightynorsman,

after going through all your remarks and posted stats I halted for a moment, wondering if I should put in my 2ct ...
If the combines are only a means to learning anything without having to put up real money (except some "course
fees"), you can stop reading here

But I guess, some thoughts about your approach could help - and show that your basic problem has only little
to do with discipline.


Try to see your trading and combine as your business. Doing that, you can easily derive from your daily stats and
even from those days when the results were positive (!) why your business proposal is warped. All in all your
trades exactly match a pattern why most retail scalpers simply bleed to death before seeing any sun.

Costs:
In terms of total fees and commissions you are providing a daily income between ~$200 and ~$400 per day to
others, i.e. $4000 - $8000 per month in your virtual business plan assuming 20 trading days per month on average.
Taxes, office, IT equipment, and all other real life facts aside ...

Income:
Only taking all of your >0 P&L days
, the average was ~$300 after fees and commissions.

Interim result:
Before risk, your cost/income ratio is somewhere between 0.6666 and 1.3333.
I.e. your business before risk is basically providing a profit share of at least 1/3 with a floor of somewhere between
~$4000 and ~$8000 per month ... to others.

Regarding the interim result: Would you sign such a contract in real life?

Bonus question: Would you sign a contract that additionally allocates all other chances and risks whatsoever on your side?

(As an aside: A difference between the 2 answers measures the size of "hopium".)


-------------- CUT --------------


What business contract would you sign?

- What would be a fair profit share with someone who provides the money to start your business?
- What would be a fair floor that you guarantee to that person/institution during periods when you don't earn money?
- What would be the right scale considering these figures (at the moment you choose a virtual 100k line)?
- What is your leverage on income? == What do your see or know that others don't? == What is your edge?

How could you implement that?


Good luck on your journey!

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  #34 (permalink)
Albany, New York, USA & sometimes Central Florida
 
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Hey Choke35,
Thanks for your thoughts and comments! I'm not sure I completely understand what you mean but will try to respond to your thoughts below as best as I can in the way that I understand them.


choke35 View Post
Hi @Mightynorsman,

after going through all your remarks and posted stats I halted for a moment, wondering if I should put in my 2ct ...
If the combines are only a means to learning anything without having to put up real money (except some "course
fees"), you can stop reading here

But I guess, some thoughts about your approach could help - and show that your basic problem has only little
to do with discipline.


Try to see your trading and combine as your business. Doing that, you can easily derive from your daily stats and
even from those days when the results were positive (!) why your business proposal is warped. All in all your
trades exactly match a pattern why most retail scalpers simply bleed to death before seeing any sun.

Costs:
In terms of total fees and commissions you are providing a daily income between ~$200 and ~$400 per day to
others, i.e. $4000 - $8000 per month in your virtual business plan assuming 20 trading days per month on average.
Taxes, office, IT equipment, and all other real life facts aside ...

Income:
Only taking all of your >0 P&L days
, the average was ~$300 after fees and commissions.

Interim result:
Before risk, your cost/income ratio is somewhere between 0.6666 and 1.3333.
I.e. your business before risk is basically providing a profit share of at least 1/3 with a floor of somewhere between
~$4000 and ~$8000 per month ... to others.

Regarding the interim result: Would you sign such a contract in real life?

Bonus question: Would you sign a contract that additionally allocates all other chances and risks whatsoever on your side?

(As an aside: A difference between the 2 answers measures the size of "hopium".)


-------------- CUT --------------


What business contract would you sign?

- What would be a fair profit share with someone who provides the money to start your business?
- What would be a fair floor that you guarantee to that person/institution during periods when you don't earn money?
- What would be the right scale considering these figures (at the moment you choose a virtual 100k line)?
- What is your leverage on income? == What do your see or know that others don't? == What is your edge?

How could you implement that?


Good luck on your journey!

Thanks again for your comments, it seems you are saying that the main problems in my approach are:
1) The high commission costs of scalping and how that seems disproportionate to my revenue
2) My recorded results are just not good enough to pay for the cost of doing business that way, especially when taking all the risk. Therefore I should change something (I think you mostly mean the style/length of my trades and reduce the number of my trades)

I too like to think of my trading as business and try to approach it in that way. Usually this would mean a trader would look for longer time frame trades and place less trades which would extend profit possibilities and shrink "business costs" or commissions. And in fact I am not opposed to longer term trading and hope to one day be proficient at swing trading as I definitely see potential there for great returns on investment. I have however come to realize that, for now and the forseeable future, it does not fit my needs or abilities well.
I view the commissions and costs of scalping as just that, they are a cost of doing business and are factored into my trading plan. My research and experience is not exhaustive for sure but in all that I have done I have found that "scalping" small amounts each day theoretically allows me to keep risk/drawdowns small and adds up over time to an acceptable profit. Whether I spend $10 a day or $1000 a day in business costs is irrelevant to me as long as my business is able to profit in parallel as my plan lays out. Of course I do want to keep costs down as much as possible (ie. getting the lowest commission rates I can) and am always willing to analyze my process to see what I can do better but in the end I do not fret over paying high or low commissions as long as it's producing the results that I am aiming for.

Several reasons I view scalping as more beneficial for me are:

1) As I said above it allows me to theoretically take smaller drawdowns producing a smoother, more consistent income
2) It fits my perceived edge and personality better at this time in my journey
3) It allows me to gain trading experience much faster as I am able to place many more trades per day/week/month than if I was trading as I have attempted in the past for daily or weekly time frames.


Lastly I would say that I agree with you, that my trading results need to be better, and that is my goal as I work through this journal towards becoming a professional trader. As far as my thoughts about Topstep Trader and the opportunity they present I believe it to be real and of value. Becoming a funded trader is not a job that should give me a salary if I am not producing any profit. It presents, in my opinion, a way to test myself and learn without risk of ruin but with some real risk in the "combine fee" and possible opportunity. If I am to get funded and achieve that goal I would be happy to sign that contract for some period of time and hopefully learn and grow as a trader through the whole experience. Would I eventually want to leave and trade completely for myself? I would think so, as long as I have confidence in my experience and abilities, but that is a question for down the road as I have many bridges to cross before I get there. I hope this addresses some of your thoughts in an understandable way.

Thanks,
Mighty

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  #35 (permalink)
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Mightynorsman View Post

Thanks again for your comments, it seems you are saying that the main problems in my approach are:
1) The high commission costs of scalping and how that seems disproportionate to my revenue
2) My recorded results are just not good enough to pay for the cost of doing business that way, especially when taking all the risk. Therefore I should change something (I think you mostly mean the style/length of my trades and reduce the number of my trades)

ad 1):
Right.

ad 2):
Even on >0 P&L days the average losses per trade are regularly (way) above the average gains per trade.
One obvious leverage would be to raise the selectivity of your trades (which would simultaneously lower
your costs).


Mightynorsman View Post

Whether I spend $10 a day or $1000 a day in business costs is irrelevant to me as long as my business is able to profit in parallel as my plan lays out.

That's what I meant with "hopium". A well-known cognitive bias.
(If you like some bedtime reading: Daniel Kahneman's "Thinking, Fast and Slow" devotes a full chapter to that bias: 24. The Engine of Capitalism)


Mightynorsman View Post
1) As I said above it allows me to theoretically take smaller drawdowns producing a smoother, more consistent income
2) It fits my perceived edge and personality better at this time in my journey
3) It allows me to gain trading experience much faster as I am able to place many more trades per day/week/month than if I was trading as I have attempted in the past for daily or weekly time frames.

ad 1):
Only considering your plus days, that might be true (the stats didn't show the individual trades).
But your losing days exceed even swing and position trading standards.

ad 2):
In general, there's nothing wrong with personal inclinations towards short-term trading.
But the perceived edge is still improvable

ad 3):
True as long as you don't adopt bad trading habits.


Mightynorsman View Post
As far as my thoughts about Topstep Trader and the opportunity they present I believe it to be real and of value. ... It presents, in my opinion, a way to test myself and learn without risk of ruin but with some real risk in the "combine fee" and possible opportunity.

Fully agree. The fees are much lower than "real market tuition" would ever be for most traders.


Good luck!

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  #36 (permalink)
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Hey choke35,

Thanks again for your input. I think I can agree with you on several things and will have to agree to disagree on a couple of things, atleast for now.


choke35 View Post
ad 1):
Right.

(will have to agree to disagree for now)

ad 2):
Even on >0 P&L days the average losses per trade are regularly (way) above the average gains per trade.
One obvious leverage would be to raise the selectivity of your trades (which would simultaneously lower
your costs).

(I agree that my losses are two big and this is mostly a discipline issue as far as I can tell. I also agree that one way to correct this would probably be to be more selective and precise in picking trades. Hopefully both of these areas will get better with work, knowledge, and experience.


That's what I meant with "hopium". A well-known cognitive bias.
(If you like some bedtime reading: Daniel Kahneman's "Thinking, Fast and Slow" devotes a full chapter to that bias: 24. The Engine of Capitalism)

(I think we are kind of misunderstanding each other on this point. I agree that I want my ideas to be realistic and I want to rule out cognative bias, at the same time when I say $100 or $1000 (which would be extremes) I also mean that each trade pays for commissions and profit. This style of trading definitely relies on discounted commissions but each trade figures in that cost. Therefore while I could benefit from weeding out some poor trades (and hopefully do), it really isn't because I am struggling with the cost of commissions, it's more to bring up the overall performance of my trading.

ad 1):
Only considering your plus days, that might be true (the stats didn't show the individual trades).
But your losing days exceed even swing and position trading standards.

ad 2):
In general, there's nothing wrong with personal inclinations towards short-term trading.
But the perceived edge is still improvable

(I will have to agree to disagree here, only because of those I talk with who are trading this way every day. I am in a few different chat rooms during the day and am able to talk with other traders. One room I have been in, off and on, for 7-8 years. In that room I talk to one trader in particular who has traded this way for many years and who does quite well. It is seeing others do it well and at times experiencing small success for myself that has allowed me to believe that it is not Hopium but instead just that I have more to learn and experience so that I can trade well this way.)

ad 3):
True as long as you don't adopt bad trading habits.

(Yes, definitely working to rid myself of any bad habits and build good ones. I see your point here and thank you for it.)

Fully agree. The fees are much lower than "real market tuition" would ever be for most traders.


Good luck!

I'm sorry I don't know exactly how to multi-quote here but I put my response in bold. I really do thank you for your time and thoughts. It's only through discussion and questioning the process that I can get better. The book "Think fast and slow" has been on my list to read for some time as well. Hopefully I will get to it soon. Have a great day,
Mighty

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  #37 (permalink)
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So after reading "The disciplined trader" by Mark Douglas and working on how to implement some of the things I found beneficial I re entered the combine. I do feel that little by little I am grasping the skills better and better that I need to do this successfully as a professional day to day.

One quote that really struck a cord for me was "If the market's behavior seems mysterious to you, it's because your own behavior is mysterious & unmanageable"

Some of the key take aways for me were to
1) think in probabilities
2) recognize what state of performance your in (similarly as I played sports I can relate to this idea well, I know when I was nervous especially in tournaments I would get out of breath easier and not be as aggressive, and it would change my ability to perform well)
3) To be a professional I must have good self discipline, good emotional recognition and control, and learn the skill of adapting or changing my mind to be in the flow of the markets.

Here are my results for Monday and Tuesday 8/22/17 and 8/23/17

Thanks for coming
Mighty

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  #38 (permalink)
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Well Journal here I am again seemingly stuck in a vortex of boom and bust cycles. I have made progress and I continue to trade in a TST Combine as it is, albeit expensive, an accountability track record. I am able to glean some good data from it and have found that I am treating it much like a real account as I see it as my true opportunity to enter this world of trading in a much more systematic and professional way with true accountability from people who understand trading.

I have taken a step away from this small journal partly from laziness and partly because of working through a few different things in my trading that I guess I just didn't like others to see. Anyway I do enjoy the community and I know that the accountability to other traders can only help me improve so I hope to get back to posting in full next week.

Later this evening I will post some of the results I have been having and discuss them.

Thanks to my friends on here for their comradery
Mighty

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Albany, New York, USA & sometimes Central Florida
 
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Well I had a post all written out but something happened when I went to post it and then when I came back to it, it was gone. I have not been able to get previous results posted but hope to sometime tonight or tomorrow morning. I am striving to find a better format that includes more of the mechanics of my trading and a lot more about the psychological side of my trading.
Today I traded with a lot of apprehension or fear most of the morning which usually translates into either very little profit or a large loss. I took a break and did a few other things and came back to trade well and the market gave me some good opportunities with better movement and volume just before lunch. The more I am able to be aware of 1) market conditions and 2) my psychological condition the better I am able to eliminate trading errors.
I am done for the day and will be jumping on my 30 year old Honda for a short ride up in the Adirondacks and then finish off the day with a swim and cookout with family at a lake up there. I will be hard at work first thing tomorrow morning to get my pre market thoughts posted and have my results posted. Have a great afternoon and evening all!!

Good Trades
Mighty

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Glad you're back. What kind of Honda?!

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Hey Good morning Racer,
It's just an old CM400E that was given to me for payment by a friend for building his garage. I've had it for close to 15 years and ridden it all over. Change the engine/transmission once, ridden it from NY to the top of Nova Scotia, and from NY to the bottom of Virginia. It's nothing too fast but it's a lot of fun and cheap to ride.

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Good Morning,
I trade for small 5-10 tick scalps (atleast that's my plan) using an assortment of "levels" of importance. my premarket usually consists of looking at the larger timeframe charts (30 minute to daily to weekly) to get an understanding of the context of today. On the larger timeframes I use VWAP and Volume Profile as well as seeing previous swing highs and lows have registered.
As I get down to shorter term charts for entry I use Opening Range levels and their extensions as well watching for areas where multiple signal generators coincide. (ie moving averages, Yesterdays highs and lows, overnight highs and lows, session open and closes) In the end these all provide places for entry and exit but it is their combination and orderflow interpretation that triggers me into entry and sometimes exit.

Below I will post a couple charts. Yesterdays premarket idea and then todays. Hopefully I will get better at this part in the future.


Today I really don't have many tells so I will probably be waiting more for the Opening Ranges to be posted,

1) Could be an inside day of consolidation,
2) Could move downward towards half way back before going higher
3) Could continue higher with smaller continuation of breakout

Trade well, success will pile up
Mighty

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Albany, New York, USA & sometimes Central Florida
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Tradovate+Jigsaw, TOS
Broker: Tradovate/CQG, TOS/Pony Express
Trading: Energies, Indexes, Grains
 
Posts: 159 since Mar 2016
Thanks: 544 given, 361 received

The past several weeks have been a blur of frustration, trading errors, and feeling like right now I couldn't trade my way out of a paper bag. I have been dealing with a few other things outside of trading and while I would like to use that as an excuse it really isn't.
I know to succeed I need
1) Proper Money Management (Discipline)
2) Consistent application of my edge (Discipline)
3) Quality Record keeping for analysis and measurement (Discipline)
4) Comprehensive approach with accountability (Discipline)
5) A will to attack and a will to admit when I am wrong (Discipline)

I have definitely taken tooooooooo long learning this and most of the reason for that is not doing things 100%. While I understand better today just how hard trading can be I don't believe it is out of reach by any means. Anyway I look forward to putting in 100% for the next year to see where that takes me. I am not going to change anything in my approach (not jumping from one thing to another), except to focus much more on a disciplined process.

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