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Winning in Trading... and Beyond

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  #1 (permalink)
 iqgod 
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So let's get to the point. Or rather not.

The main problem of trading without question is that all that it needs is pressing the BUY or SELL button. So why is this a problem? Chiefly is because it leaves a lingering doubt in the mind of the person who just got into this that this is somehow easy, it is easy money - you have probably started off the same way. The Loss happens and the mentality changes to - it can be done using SOME KNOWLEDGE THAT CAN BE STUDIED AND ASSIMILATED. Or in other words - LOSSES CAN BE AVOIDED.

Sadly, there is no secret, no method, no simplistic perseverance that can conquer this particular mountain. In fact a lifetime can be ruined searching for wrong answers simply because one is walking the wrong path.

To become a Consistently Profitable Trader there are a series of undoings and unlearnings that must happen - and for that the right questions need to be asked.

For example, the first question - WHY?

Why trading? In fact what is the reasoning for entering this world, what is the dream, where are you coming from?


This and other correctly asked questions would form this journal.


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  #3 (permalink)
 iqgod 
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If there ever was a summary of a Consistently Profitable Trader's habits, this is it:



The advantage being that this is a song hence it enters your subconscious mind-stream pretty quickly!

In this journal, created with the belief that if my posting helps you it also helps me, because writing it out further enhances the quality of the process.

At it best trading is the repetitive taming of the monkey mind, being in the now and staying clear in the head in a place called 'The Zone'.

However, some disclaimers before we become too happy and slip into the zen state:

1. Trading is a marathon and not a sprint

Expect to give up the best years of your life. You will be lonely and cry often. No one will understand you, sometimes not even other traders. As someone said 'This is the hardest easy money you will ever make.' If you are unprepared for the time commitment leave now and save yourself some agony (a lot).

2. Trading can cause you to go bankrupt.

Nice statement isn't it - especially as we were contemplating the Aladdin's cave! You need to focus on the RISK. Focus on LOSING SMALL! And maybe, just maybe we will make money - whether because we threw darts or whether our method worked will always be suspect, but keeping losses small is the ONLY way to become a CPT.

I may be successful now (started in 2007, so 10 years is a good thumb rule to plan for...) but I have spectacularly blown up MANY TIMES OVER. The dismay, the feeling of utter powerlessness, the freezing up of self, the resulting depression - been through it all.

So, for those who start out - fake it till you make it. That is to say - do not, please DO NOT, trade with real money for the first six months of your 'career'. Stay on sim. And even on sim keep your losses small.

3. Understand your Prime Responsibility

Your prime responsibility as a trader is... guess?

No its not to make money, more money and then even more money.

It is, repeat with me - KEEP LOSSES SMALL. 2% of your account size. 1% is even better.

What does this really entail:

a. Your strength is in your patience to wait for your setup

Allow price to come to you, do not chase price.

b. Your poise is in recovering from the small loss that the current trade gave you

Wait for the next setup. Get up and recover and start watching again. This come with practice.

c. Protect your capital, but most of all protect yourself

Never let looming opportunity entice you into going for high leverage. Trade small enough to 'sleep at night'. (see Ed Seykota's song at the start of this post). Only if you do not overleverage can your stop loss be at a logical place where you SEE that it is wrong. Small stop losses mean you are overleveraging! Calmness comes with the disengagement that only small size allows. Protect your mental state by trading small!

d. Learn to swim

This will come only if a,b and c are followed. Stay in the game long enough and you will have picked up a lot subconsciously. Even if you are on a higher time frame stay with the order flow, micro level to get a feel of the instrument.

More about that later - in the WHEN? part where I demonstrate the entry, exit and trailing to protect yourself.


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 Devil Man 
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and @iqgod...if i may add:

e. Learn to trade stress free...with a small enough position that you can let it run throughout the day into the close without it damaging your account and morale...you are probably right more times on trade direction than your stop loss if you think about it.

just my .02

cheers

Johnny

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 iqgod 
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“A man must love a thing very much if he practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practice it without any hope of doing it well. Such a man must love the toils of the work more than any other man can love the rewards of it.” - G.K. Chesterton.


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 iqgod 
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All answers to questions can be found inside you; all that needs to be done is to ask the right question.

In order to become a consistently profitable trader this groundwork is not optional, in fact it is necessary, like laying the foundation.

The first question is - what do your dreams consist of? The short answer - making money - is the equivalent of starting to build your empire on quicksand. The more you elaborate, the better you can trade.

To understand our motivations we need to begin from the universal image of a 'good and perfect world' which allows an unending feeling of feeling good always. This utopia is thus based on an endless variation of feeling good where individual freedom and a harmonious society are the lasting values.

There is no conflict till this seems unachievable - however suddenly Trading allows this to become a possible world. Thus as long as the dream was confined to 'after heaven' it was freely floating, but when this dream became a PROJECT and endeavour to be completed in this real world of NOW, the dreamy good feeling shrinks and beomces a profane PROJECT.

Thus, and this is an important point, the dream which shapes the direction of progress is projected to the fringes of the horizon and purposefully made abstract. Directing ones efforts towards this horizon, perhaps represented by a heap of money, is what remains.

This is where the disconnect between the real and achievable trading results begins.

It will be my endeavour in this journal to show you how I bridged this divide so that trading became effortless and then almost an art for its own sake.


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 iqgod 
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Once you have convinced yourself that the market has trends, you need to know to anticipate and catch the major part of the trend.

Here is the combination of the factors I check:

1. 20 EMA: Moving averages, like any indicator are lagging, but are useful as a reference point to anticipate trend resumption, as long as one keeps in mind that there is no miracle associated with entering based on moving average and that one is not using them alone.

2. Choosing the entry point will be covered in detail; however it is important not to focus on the entry as the end all be all holy grail. Keeping your losses relatively small to the entry price is the key concept that should always be kept in mind, and that should be the goal of the entry - to define when you can get out with a minor loss.

3. Faith, not hope: Going all in with the entry and keeping your losses small involve a struggle that has to be won. The struggle involves:

- Your state of mind

This changes with whatever the price does. However, you need faith that the odds are in your favor and a strong belief that you are right. The state of mind is a good indicator at every point of the trade. Our state defines how much profit we can ride out.

- Being wrong many more times than winning

Yesterday I was wrong on 65% of my entries. I took my stops. However the 35% of the times when I was right I rode the trade completely till the end of big move - the waiting was more than I anticipated because of the bank holidays but in the end I caught the trending downmove.


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 iqgod 
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When I started trading, when Europe had just opened, I was neutral and still planning my trade. The current position of the market was down, however I was open and this is how it unfolded - the market had formed a BLOCK and given a valid entry for a short trade which was nearing its target. So I entered my short at almost the end of the move and then was out and also reversed 7:15 as the target was quickly reached.

Here is how the chart looked



The reason for going long at this point was the mean reverting anticipation of the range where the downmove had reached the target and stops by the late shorts were more likely above the block and the time of the day - Europe often tends to completely turn the trend on its head at the beginning of the session. This is not a rule of thumb, only that the opinion was fortified by the lot of attempts at upswings which had been made at the end of the downtrend gave the clue.

Thus, going long at the bottom allowed me to capture the entire upmove. At the top of the upmove once the stops were taken out there was bound to be respect for the trading range so I waited for some indication for the downtrend to resume and went short there (though I was early and should have waited for confirmation).

The faith allowed me to be in my short position for the next six hours. The market made lot of attempts to shake off all shorts but as I said my only risk was pre-planned and small and my short position was never invalidated, thus I ride it all the way down and completed my trading day relatively emotion free.

I streamed my entire session live - here is the complete session recording:



Note that I also took multiple entries on another platform. Most of those entries were wrong - however I did not lose much and one good trade paid for them all. So losing 65% of the time was something that needs to be anticipated as well, with faith that you will be up at the end of the session (or week, or month, based on the timeframe).


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 iqgod 
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Mindfulness and yoga keep coming on as recurring themes for successful trading. I am currently reading The Inner Voice of Trading by Michael Martin which says so multiple times.

A long time ago (before this century had dawned!) someone recommended Vipassana Meditation which means seeing things like they really are. Little did I know how invaluable this technique would be in my trading.


Understanding the technique was simple and seemed superficial in application. This was a technique of expanding breath awareness and body awareness, and needed a dedicated ten days at a center. You needed to be in complete silence for all of the period - the days were completely filled with mindful practice. Each day starts at 4 AM and the only activity you do is sitting still in observation of breath and sensations - this goes on for full ten hours broken only by breakfast and lunch, followed by a video sermon that puts the day's practice in context. The student was expected to go without dinner for ten days, but that paled in comparison to maintaining the silence, apart from no luxuries of life - no books, no music, no contact with the outer world.

The technique can be summarized in a few words - the goal is to restore the mind's focus to the breath. Every time the mind wanders away from breath, which means if it has enveloped the stray, random, important thoughts that remove its attention from breath, gently guide it back to breath.

This is called the technique of Anapana and is the first step. It sounds simple, but recognizing that the mind is actually wandering is the key. By the time you realize that you have strayed away, the mind is wide off the mark of the breath, and refocusing is done - this happens over and over.

This is where the realm of successful trading lies, and not conquering this realization of wandering is why a trader stays mediocre, never achieving the goals he had started of with. These are the 'voices' that a trader identifies as 'me' and these are the voices, on the fringes of awareness, that blow up our trading. Becoming mindful of these hidden conversations that keep playing inside is the 'holy grail' - becoming first aware of the structure inside you - the deeper fears, the internal self-talk that trading really exposes.

The sensations are of two types: 'Desire' type of sensations and 'avoidance' type of sensations - and as we observe them we realize that these sensations themselves are impermanent and dissolve quickly, but they leave behind a layer that keeps adding up over life as a residual repository leading to a life of addiction, compulsion, obsession etc. all of which directly affect trading.

The real effectiveness for a trader then is to actually come to terms with the impermanence of each of these feelings - trading can then be tackled effectively by letting go of the past, breaking free of the self-imposed limitations and keep the consciousness on a positive workable level - eventually a trader has to realize that loss and change are a part of trading and life but more than impulsive behavior and self-destruction don't have to be! Looking mindfully we come to terms with our emotional beings that cling to our insecurities and allow us to propel ourselves to balance and peace while trading.

Inner silence is very helpful as a place from where one's self talk then clearly emerges.


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 iqgod 
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Some questions that produce insights into my habits and patterns work to derail my trading -

For each item I keep asking my mind: Why?

Why do I pull the trigger early?

Why do I consistently buy tops or sell bottoms?

Why do I exit early and not allow a target to be taken out?

Why do I hesitate to pull the trigger? Why do I want confirmation upon confirmation upon confirmation?

Why do I pull the trigger at random places?

Why do I aim for trying to be right and being ok with losing money?



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 iqgod 
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This is the secret agenda that keeps rearing its head and which has to be controlled:

So let me confess here.... the pull of trading for me was the rush, the full-blown adrenaline rush, a psycho in my head - trading was almost an addiction and it has the power to destroy me.

Trading has been an escape, a cunning deceitful and arresting addiction, a lure to stray from the accepted, a desire to become an outlier. When actually all the focus must be on is trading profits. I am almost hesitant to confess here given the intensity of the thoughts that get stirred up during the practice but this journal is a springboard. I am trying to be honest, and no other place allows you to be as honest.

The behaviors that I have to control! Here is a list:

- Holding on to losers

- Getting out of winners for the rush of the quick small profit

- Not doing the right thing - entering quickly OR hesitating - Short: "Not following the plan"

- Allowing the ego to crush correct behavior and not taking the next right trade if this one fails. "Failure makes me mad!" syndrome.


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 iqgod 
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The markets alone are incapable of destroying us.

The markets have no insanity, fear, greed and rage. All these are facets of us that move up like pawns unless we are in control.

The market is the 800 pound gorilla and deep inside we know we have to obey it, else...

But why do it this way when so many resources exist on this very forum to know where to put the faith - believe in yourself and your system and not lapse control and suddenly go on tilt?

Mindfulness is simply a tool - but the premise is that trading is a serious business. Trading is boring and cut and dried. Trading happens to make money when you accept yourself for what you are, do not fall prey to the arcade illusion, heal the temporary wounds that losses inflict and continue fighting the battle with iron discipline.

I actually laugh out loud when I think how I landed here - the lure of the easy money.

This has been the hardest easy money I ever made in my whole life.


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 iqgod 
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I am cruising down the freeway making huge profits when suddenly I hit a speed bump.

A event triggers off a chain of reactions - lot of old stuff comes back from the closet where I thought I had shut it out long ago and for good!

When will I have Cut losses short tattooed on my palm? When will I guarantee that I will not go on tilt?

It is when I realize that I am sometimes still looking for easy ways!

But there are NO easy ways!

If it is one thing that trading makes you realize that it become less difficult as we go along but it never allows you to lower your guard or lie down and be lazy and yet make money!

One of the realizations in life is that there really is no "end" (nor a beginning) - everything is just going further.

Trading is a journey and a spiritual one at that!


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 iqgod 
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The ego gets out of control more times that we like to admit.

We are lured into thinking that our way of looking at the market is the only right way.

The trap is so subtle that there is no time to escape - often the trap occurs as a long drawn down battle (pun intended)!

We hold on to a losing position saying that the market is showing signs of turning back!

We are afraid of our own nakedness - we have ego risk!

If we have an opinion isn't it just an opinion? Why do we want to become that opinion!

In our own private chamber of the mind we need to admit the 'point of being wrong' when we are swimming in the market - because when the tide goes out it becomes obvious who is swimming naked!


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 iqgod 
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Resistance by definition is self-sabotage. But there's a parallel peril that must also be guarded against: sabotage by others. The reason is that they are struggling, consciously or unconsciously, against their own Resistance. The awakening trader's success becomes a reproach to them. If he can beat these demons, why can't they?


The awakening trader must be ruthless, not only with himself but with others. Once you make your break, you can't turn around.

Procrastination is the most common manifestation of Resistance because it's the easiest to rationalize. We don't tell ourselves, "I'm never going to write my trading plan." Instead we say, "I am going to write my trading plan; I'm just going to start tomorrow." The most pernicious aspect of procrastination is that it can become a habit. We don't just put off our lives today; we put them off till our deathbed.

Never forget: This very moment, we can change our lives. There never was a moment, and never will be, when we are without the power to alter our destiny. This second, we can turn the tables on Resistance.

This second, we can sit down and do our work.


Self-doubt can be an ally. This is because it serves as an indicator of aspiration. It reflects love, love of something we dream of doing, and desire, desire to do it. If you find yourself asking yourself (and your friends), "Am I really a trader? Am I really a good fit?" chances are you are.

Resistance knows that the more psychic energy we expend dredging and re-dredging the tired, boring injustices of our personal lives, the less juice we have to do our work.

What are the aspects of the Professional?

• Patient - in all aspects of life.

• Seeks order - He is on a mission. He will not tolerate disorder. He eliminates chaos from his world in order to banish it from his mind. He wants the carpet vacuumed and the threshold swept, so the Muse may enter and not soil her gown.

• Demystifies - He understands that all creative endeavor (trading IS a creative endeavour!) is holy, but he doesn't dwell on it. He knows if he thinks about that too much, it will paralyze him. So he concentrates on technique. The professional masters how, and leaves what and why to the gods. The sign of the amateur is overglorification and preoccupation with the mystery. The professional shuts up. He doesn't talk about it. He does his work.

• Plays it as it lays - The professional conducts his business in the real world. Adversity, injustice, bad hops and rotten calls, even good breaks and lucky bounces all comprise the ground over which the campaign must be waged. The field is level, the professional understands, only in heaven.

• Prepared - The professional prepares mentally to absorb blows and to deliver them. His aim is to take what the day gives him. He is prepared to be prudent and prepared to be reckless, to take a beating when he has to, and to go for the throat when he can. He understands that the field alters every day. His goal is not victory (success will come by itself when it wants to) but to handle himself, his insides, as sturdily and steadily as he can.

The professional dedicates himself to mastering technique not because he believes technique is a substitute for inspiration but because he wants to be in possession of the full arsenal of skills when inspiration does come. The professional is sly. He knows that by toiling beside the front door of technique, he leaves room for profits to enter by the back.


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 iqgod 
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Chart Highlighting My Current Problem Area: Execution





Description of context wrt execution on Chart:

At Bar marked 2 I read this as a point where buyers were certainly turned back, and any upmove to the right of the chart would possibly be met with stifff resistance.

This long entry was made as a range break to the upside. I was aware of it being countertrend to the overall market structure which showed a steep bearish trend and a measured move down was on the cards more than an upmove, but I sensed a quick scalp and tried to squeeze out a countertrend long scalper's profit. There were two things wrong with this trade - I was entering at the extreme of a trading range where fades are the best moves moves but I insisted on taking a range break long. The second issue was that the long was not validated i.e. there was actually no range break and I was an early long due to which I had to bear the MAE as price went down back into the middle of the range but was turned away by the trendline where the actual entry should have been taken.

Not marked, should be marked where price breaks to the upside from the trading range. This is where a valid entry shoudl have been taken and this was a perfect range break, only that it was countertrend and hence was only a scalp.

This exit was correct of a nimble scalp but also was a scared exit, but the scariness here was for real and not a psychological issue.

I hesitated to short here even though a clear bear trendline was offering a low risk high reward short trade - the hesitation cost me a lot of ticks as the market fell sharply and I was filled nearer the bottom of the bar. Waiting for further confirmation when there is confirmation leads to slippage which then may lead further issues like watching the price go against me which would not have otherwise happened had I entered from the place of the first confirmation (trendline touch and anticipation of reversal i.e. point 5 bar top)

This was defintely a scared exit, but it was a profitable trade and would have been a perfectly good target had I entered at the top of the earlier bar as discussed above. Waiting for actual signs of reversal confirmation and exiting on a huge bar's extreme usually lead to same amount of profits, except in hard trends where the market does not look back. However 6 was a bad exit anyways.

This was the worst possible early entry I could take - the market was still hugely bearish and no confirmation of a long was on the cards. This caused the maximum MFE and the stop was not triggered but was far away and if hit would have thrown a combine off track for that day.

This was where the actual entry could have been taken as the market started reversing. I was acutely aware of being painfully early and the cost of being the early bird was high.

This was where I was back in profit and should have ideally covered but I had a stubborn order two ticks above this swing point and even though I could see the market was reversing back to bear mode I did not cover. A mix of cockiness and 'knowing' that the market will go up. Both are bad when trading.

This was the absolute low point of my day's trading. The cockiness made me take on one more long here even - I broke my rule of being a one lot trader and was edging into a trap - the classic newbie mistakes of 'averaging down' and was also 'chasing the market so as not to miss the big upmove'.

This was a good exit for one lot. I should have held the other lot but exited after sitting through two lots and more MAE than I could bear.


Thus even though I had zero losing trades, the MAE was the worrisome aspect and it was totally my fault because the market behaved with precision and there were lot of easy reads but the problem components of execution were highlighted on which I keep trying to gain an upper hand since this is a critical problem area to overcome.


The problem of execution had the following components for me:

Unanticipated moves. When caught off guard, which itself is a result of poor planning. Execution errors are more pronounced when entering countertrend, and also when entering with-trend at a climatic reversal point such as a failed final flag.
Added slippage, due to hesitation (see bar marked 5)
Anticipated moves, but early entry. (see bars marked 2, 6, 7 and 10) These are simply Impatient entries most of which can be averted by entering on a stop order one or two ticks distance from the signal bar or range break.
Execution paralysis. These are totally trader related. Scared quick exits without confirmation of reversal. No entry due to fear of trend having gone too far. Experience and practice reduce these errors. Late exits even after confirmation i.e. not exiting even after the market has shown its hand.
Missed entries. If these happen simply due to not anticipating and not being available when the market gets ready to move due to schedule, that is perfectly alright. A trader needs to eat, sleep and do other things. Trade-offs should not cause a resentation feeling, repenting or pining about missed entries and then cause further bad execution like chasing the market / more early entries without confirmation etc.

Of these (3) leads to greater MAE and / or causes money stops to be hit.

(1) means that a trader is trying to catch every wiggle of the market which is not bad by itself, but patience to wait for good setups always pays off - mainly due to the fact that (2) may cause being in a position which may then lead trying to close lesser positions which may cause NOT entering correctly when the really best opportunities present themselves.

(4) shows an incomplete understanding of the nature of trends, and the market in general and occasional lapses of discipline / attention

(1) and (4) show more practice and screentime is needed.


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 iqgod 
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Daily Premarket Routine:

My daily pre-market routine comprises of:

1. To analyze yesterday’s trades.
2. To review any open positions and do a what-if analysis of targets and stops by assessing market conditions.
3. To make an initial selection of possible entries to trade based on the above two factors.

Risk Management / Money Management:


The goal of my trading is to PROTECT CAPITAL aka NOT TO LOSE MONEY. Gaining money is a secondary objective.

Take a trade ONLY if the reward is 1.5 times the risk.

Every trade I take MUST have a stop loss order entered into the system.

I will not use tight trailing stops, stops can be moved to protect profits only based on rules 1 and 2.

I will stop trading for the day if I lose 2% of my total pile.

I will stop trading for the week if I lose 5% of my total pile.

The size of my position must never exceed the parameters defined above.

Finally, I will never let a winning trade turn into a losing trade i.e. I will move my stops to either breakeven or to a place which crossed refutes part of my idea. This is not a good market structure rule but something that seems to work for my psychology.

After a winning trade I will not let ego takeover and still continue to abide by the above rules.

After a losing trade, I will verify that I followed my rules and remind myself that following the plan is more important that the outcome of a single trade. There can be GOOD losing trades!

In trading, as in life, I will strive to be impartial to the passing ebb and flow of emotions and STICK TO THE PLAN.


Strengths:

Knowing when you've lost touch with yourself.

Ability to follow your inner voice at times.

Weaknesses:

Freezing! Since I tend to freeze when faced with losses, the automatic stop loss takes me out. Also, I have to get a position correct or exit any wrong / erroneous entries!


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 iqgod 
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Are there any learnings for me? Sure!

- Betting on reversals is a losing proposition. Trends continue so far because too many people bet on reversals!

- Could I have taken the other side - it would have been so profitable......

The last statement was always dangerous thinking for me.

It presumes a delusion I had long held before I became a profitable trader... the delusion that I CAN PREDICT WHAT THE MARKET IS GOING TO DO NEXT.

Let me say it again.... I do not know what the market is going to do next. Even though I risk real money on a great setup I do not know the outcome of my next trade.


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 iqgod 
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Here is what my "mentor" had given in the form of advice fie years ago:


Quoting 
You are not ready to trade live. You are fueled by a demon that wants money and wants it now, and until you exorcise that part of yourself, you will not find lasting success in trading. Your goal of “I want to double or triple my small account in one - two months” is the biggest problem I see. You do not want to be a trader, you want to be rich, and you are demanding that the markets make it so. You see trading as your lottery ticket.


There is no Holy Grail. There is no perfect system. Solving the mystery of trading has less to do with charts and indicators than it does with patience, experience, and self-control. From what I am reading, you currently lack all three.


You say you have the belief that your “understanding of the markets is complete”. Where is the proof? It is only a mirage if there is no water.


You are answering yourself over and over. You are describing an addiction, not a skill.


Trading is is a craft that takes a lot of hard work. If someone makes their sole source of income through trading, they are earning every penny of it. Adrenaline, addiction, thrill-seeking. That is not trading.


You mentioned your account size is not large enough, but that it once was. I would suggest that, no, it wasn't. Your account cannot be large enough if you trade the way you do. There is a saying, “How do you get a $1 million trading account? Start with $2 million.” Account size and margin requirements only come into the true trading equation when you know how to trade. Until then, any leverage is too much leverage. Regardless of your account size today, it can go to zero in a very short time.


Do you really want to be a trader? Then start by taking responsibility for your actions.


My advice; Stop the live trading. Get the trading program off your computer for 12 months. Get your head together. Get rid of the goal of doubling or tripling in a month. Set your goal to finish up 20% for the year.


Practice visualization and relaxation techniques. Study chart patterns. Then come back next year, and trade simulated until you can be profitable every week for 3 months. No more real money until you can do that.


If you can't find the discipline required to become a trader, you will fail. Hope to hear from you next year. Good luck.



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 iqgod 
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I will only compliment myself because I followed my trading plan well and executed well by following good trading discipline.

I will never compliment myself based on the outcome of any trade. (e.g. hurrah my last trade was a winner etc must not be found in these pages... send me a remote butt kick if I ever do that).

The fact that prices move just enough to oblige a trader to profit from a lapse of trading dscipline is part and parcel of the market's way of setting him/her up for a gigantic failure.

Habits matter more than profits.


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As the trading progresses, I can almost hear the demons we are fighting inside my head:

Demon No. 1: Frontrunning - i.e. taking a trade because "so many things support it" instead of the disciplined wait for the setup

Demon No. 2: Self-doubt - hesitation to enter even when a valid setup has set itself up for entry.

Demon No. 3: Wanting to be right on every trade - Clinging to losers even beyond point of validity - with hope as basis instead of technicals; AND Holding to winners beyond expected targets to catch "home-runs" or dreaming about 'hail-Mary rides' that would otherwise be missed if I was not always in.


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Some more of "mentor advice":


Studying other traders methods is a good practice, it let's you look over another trader's shoulder and gain insight into what they do. But always remember, you are not them. For you to be successful you must learn how YOU trade profitably. There is no exact instruction manual out there. There are pieces of information, tools, that you learn, experiment with, tweak, use for awhile, then abandon. Over time you find one that resonates with you, and it finds a permanent home in your trading arsenal. And then you keep looking until you find another. You make them yours and you get to where you understand them better than anyone else does.




The solution is simple, not easy, but simple.

LET YOUR PROFITS RUN (meaning, make the market prove that it's turning against you before pulling the plug)
CUT YOUR LOSSES SHORT (meaning, when the market turns against you, take the hit, do not make the market chase you.)

And finally, understand this:
HOPE IS NOT A TRADING STRATEGY.

Paper trade with all the seriousness of a live account.
DO NOT TRADE WITH MONEY UNTIL YOU MAKE PAPER MONEY
IF YOU "GET BORED" and restless paper trading, then this business is NOT for you. (yes it is a business).

Here are the rules to read aloud before the first trade early every morning:
I hope they help you.

- I am involved in the market for one reason only... to systematically, consistently pull money from the market on a daily basis.
- I do not trade impulsively
- I am a conservative trader
- I only trade my established setups
- I always let the market come to me
- I have my limit and stop losses in place ahead of time
- I do not chase the market, EVER.
- After losing a trade, I step back, waiting a while to trade again, if at all
- After a large loss (yes, it happens) I cease all trading for the remainder of the session.
- I keep tight stop losses and DO NOT move the stop back when the market moves against me.
- I do not get frustrated
- I am a trading robot, I am Spock , I pride myself on being a creature of pure, unflappable logic.
- I control my emotion so that it does not control or influence me.
- I NEVER "Throw caution to the wind"
- I NEVER place overnight trades and look away
- I let my profits run, particularly following the PROVEN morning reversal.
- I trade as though I have 100 cars on all the time, regardless of how many I have in.
- I am perfectly content to exit the day with $ x profit per contract
- I DO NOT overtrade
- 95% of all the money I have lost was from overtrading or retreating a stop loss when losing.
- I NEVER trade if I am edgy or have butterflies (for whatever reason)
- I always eat a solid breakfast and NEVER drink coffee before entering the market.
- I seek out 7,8,9,or 10 ratings (out of 10) for trading environments (locations to trade, no distractions)
- I put a minimum of 1 hour research and number crunching before entering my first trade.
- After winning a good size trade, or any trade, I know that I AM NOT INDESTRUCTIBLE
- After winning, I only trade again if the trade is one of my established setups
- I am a student of the market and will continue to learn until my very last trade.
- Of the 22 or so trading days per month, I only trade approximately 15 of them.
- I am not in this to play games, for the thrill or the risk.
- This is NOT gambling, any more than buying or selling real estate is gambling.
- After losing a trade, I do not get frustrated or angry, as it is merely part of the process, much like accepting rejection as a commissioned salesperson.
- I proceed confidently, understanding that with the consistent, intelligent use of stop losses, this is NOT a dangerous endeavor.
- While in a winning trade, my method for letting my profits run is by sitting back and looking at the big picture after my stop loss is positioned to guarantee me a tiny profit.
- I behave as a HUGE Trader every day, in every trade, in order to become that HUGE Trader.
- I understand that I must constantly adapt to what the market is doing.
- On Trending days I force myself to let profits ride. On smaller days I take what I can get, never hoping for more.
- If I miss my entry point (for whatever reason) I simply wait patiently for a retracement or a pull back and execute an intelligent market entry, rather than foolishly chase the market.
- I never have or share disbelief of behavior or price level in the market because robots do not emote.
- I never let the size of my account interfere with my rules.
- I occupy myself with other tasks while trading, understanding that staring at the charts = LOSING.
- I understand that the market can and does move fast and can turn on a dime covering considerable distance.


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 iqgod 
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The first short scalp trade I took was well managed, and produced a 6 tick profit. The second one was a wild ride however. My computer was running hot and froze up possibly due to recording / streaming eating up memory and when I had made an entry it hung up before I could place the stop / target!

I had to babysit that trade as it hd swiftly moved against me. It ended up profitable.

First trade (short video):



Also note that I was caught off guard and the market action shouted of the illiquid / large spread news trading ladder, but I survived it. Too much was on luck today that I would've liked.


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While the average swing length does vary based on which session is in progress, trying to use it as a paradigm is asking for trouble. Also, I am not a big fan of basing my trading on backtesting one of many concepts in exclusivity to others. Markets may be cyclic and fractal, but their nature is more of a beast than a small trader would like to believe.

Basically I am more of a 'feel' person. I nose my way around and poke and prod for signs that perhaps make it slightly more favorable to go long, short or stay out - it is a consideration of a lot of subtle factors.

Though most traders do not admit it (even system traders), trading is more emotional than we like and the search fr ENTRIES is really the seeking of comfort. Once a trend is underway, where am I most comfortable in entering? Where is the point of being wrong small enough to be comfortable.... ?


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 iqgod 
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Once I place a trade I either let it take out a target or take out a tipping point adjusted stop.

Meanwhile price keeps backing and filling.

If the trade becomes a loser NOW then I would have been in a losing trade for more than x hours which makes me tend to skew towards impatient entries. This is where the focus shifts from the markets to the trader.

However it is part f my strategy that emphasizes the importance of skillfully cutting ALL losers early no matter how good the price action looks!


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The 'medium term' range of the EURUSD finally seems to be consigned to history and a successful breakout to the top HAS HAPPENED. Though I made money on Thursday and Friday, I was looking at mean reversals and felt the price action contained too many 'switches'.



Just when everybody 'spots the trend' is when everything turns upside down.



Tip
Secrets of Professional Turf Betting https://www.amazon.com/Secrets-Professional-Betting-Robert-Bacon/dp/B000CSN91C

There is no danger of the public ever finding any key to the secret of winning. The crazy gambling urge and speculative hysteria that overcomes most players at the track makes that fact a certainty. But, if the public play ever did get wise to the facts of life, the principle of ever-changing cycles of results would move the form away from the public immediately.
The principle of ever-changing trends works to force quick and drastic changes of results sequences when the public happens to get wise to a winning idea.
The public can never catch up to the form – or the game ceases.
Some amateur players carry inconsistency to such a degree that they demand consistency from the horses, while at the same time being utterly inconsistent in their methods of play. It’s not the races that beat these players – it’s the switches!



https://dailyspeculations.com/Letter/bacon.htm is an interesting read if you are further interested.


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I am suddenly disengaged, still reading the reaction as the market breaks the prior tops.

Did I make a huge profit on these two volatile days? No. I feel numb, but it is a soothing numb not a disgusted, brooding raging numb. I feel no emotions even though I missed the opportunities for big money.

Earlier I would journal to show how skilled or right I was on each trade - now I feel I have taken some steps ahead after the recent big falls.


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Reading finance news is an amusing past time - the reasons for market sentiment never matter after the fact do they?


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 iqgod 
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Sometimes I feel there are three reasons for my failures in the market:

1. When comfortably green there is a huge load on my mind - feel like I'm one of the Pilgrims from John Bunyan carrying my load that crushes me with its weight. There is a desire to lose to lighten that load.

2. The desire to increase risk when I'm winning does not move in parallel with the inner construct to 'stay the familiar same old me'.

3. The boldness sometimes works and sometimes turns upon itself - for example for entries where I would've loved to have entered correctly at the EMA / correct place I turn inwards and find no courage to take the 'riskier' entry with the bigger stop fearing that I would reduce my equity. Earlier I used to go into a 'study loop' to 'discover' what price would do next.

Of course the correct road is to internalize 'take your stops and trade anyway' - feel the fear and do it anyway.


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I traded with too much live capital before I was really ready. Sure I had amazing profitable days on the end. But was it trading? I believe it was more a result of beginner's luck.

Beginner's luck can be a strange thing. Once touched by its magic and you sort of get hooked to it. I mean lady luck and all that, who wouldn't want such stuff? But the Midas Touch is a fool's enterprise, mostly it ends in a blown up account.

Perhaps what really made me a real trader is blowing up again and again and again. Complete accounts lost, lot of crying like a baby, not pleasant for a man past his thirties.

So when you define yourself as a TRADER be sure you really mean it. Be sure you are not playing wth fire unprotected. Safety first, and perhaps you will make some real money that you can keep. Like any honest person minding his business, you need ethics of the highest order to work unsupervised and you need to win your own trust the hard way.


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 iqgod 
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I think more people than many would admit come to trading with some vendetta against the real world. I came and tried to get even with the markets - making money by force!

The whole thing was fuelled by a testeestone demon - lot of big wins made me dizzy but it all ended whenthe account had blown up. Dazed shock aftermath - why a sane and logical man did this is still a mystery.

Also, studying harder on techniques, patterns, 'secrets' was good and seemed like progress but was the completely wrong path.

I woke up only after a dazed acceptance that the market had punched me super hard, and getting up seemed impossible but the demon made sure I was back in the arena.

But only when I really understood what inside made me tick that I could pretend any semblance of control. After the AHA moment was when I approached markets asa sane man should. Indeed few do, and fewer persist in the sane state. So currently I am making money, but I still touch wood :-).


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 iqgod 
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Many more times that I would have liked I have had a position on during a major news event. Though all the times I escaped unscathed, the whole idea is worrisome that I would place my faith in 'let's see what happens when.....' type of scenario.

Basically the goal of a price action trader is to recognize a setup and then profit from it. How can one see a setup AND predict the future during a 'coin flip' type of event - what will be the meaning of chart / price reading in such an environment?

Why should I not argue that I am gabbling and definitely NOT trading if I find myself news trading?

However sometimes the price actin even makes sense before, during and after the news event. The stops need to be wider, the size smaller - but it makes me wonder if it is really worth it....


Would be interesting to hear others views on this.


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 iqgod 
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Some things that are troubling me over my past week's trading:

1. I keep trying to predict reversals

Regardless of whether I make money on this or not (I do) it boils down to - is this the way I wish to make money? Common sense says the proper way is to aim for trend continuation and enter or increase position at pullbacks. However are there some times when this trading style is better - like last two days when the 'switches' were many?

2. Doing something at a round number level just because 'something will happen there'

This seems to be based on an assumption or rather multiple experiences that shade me as a trader - 'something' happens there and I feel my way around that feeling of happening - probing - being alert, scanning my old memories of what 'that thing' is - somehow I thrive in this sort of intuitive stuff, but again, can I quantify my edge?


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 iqgod 
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I've been posting more because I have actually stopped to read and re-read everything I wrote in my journals since the day I joined this forum - it started with me posting my entry in gold in real time followed by the exit and followed by @Big Mike congratulating me on the trade. I wish I could continue that - actually I do that on my live streaming channel, but avoid talking because I find that I distract myself.

Lot of my trades happen just before a freight train of a trend resumes - in that sense I am a countertrend trader and I am not really very comfortable with that. But internal conflict aside, I always have managed to be out in time - clear of the tracks before the freight train arrives.

Guess I will continue picking pennies in front of the steam roller....


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Here is an interesting exercise if faced with fear of losing (discussed on PriceSquawk):


Tip

In this trading exercise, for just one or two trading session try and LOSE as many ticks as possible based on short term order flow and price swings (and not just crossing the inside market spread). You might surprise yourself and find that your win to loss ratio plateaus at some point. This will also give you a better understanding of the probabilities of trading; instead of constantly worrying about how many losers you are taking, you will be in the opposite case and realise that you cannot help but take winners. This can assist in dealing with fear of losing issues when trading.



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 iqgod 
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Scalping with a simple chart without any indicators need not be a daunting exercise.

I usually do not know about what my odds in a particular type of entry are - and variance usually makes it hazy to quantify.

But what we as traders can and must do is define the points where getting out is the only solid plan.

So whether you read tea leaves, do volume profile, read the order flow etc. and act based on the feelings resulting from your judgement of the current market dynamics, the tipping point of bailing out and the DEFINED target are more important for trading success than any 'other' thing.



The illusion is that the answer is always in the math.


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Most traders methods for entries and exits aim to REMOVE UNCERTAINTY instead of focusing on the CERTAIN point where one MUST get out!


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 iqgod 
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Something inside always gets me when I MISS A MOVE.

It then feels that there is an angel and a devil sitting on each side of my ear and whispering. I then feel I would have been better off with TWO LOTS instead of one. One I scalp, the other I ride till the end of this 4 sigma event giant move.

But then I realize the fallacy of this argument and realize it has smaller basis in reality - my emotions would need to be dual for this to work.


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 iqgod 
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I believe that focusing too much on stringent parameters of a PATTERN are a too obvious way of getting stop hunted or pillaged without reaching target. The way double thinking works is to Trade the traders themselves - hence the more obvious the pattern the more you need to think about the consequences of trading it,

Usually when I trade the whole zig-zag and mishmash of movement matters - the pattern usually has no name but I am sure what exactly I will do if it will breakout - in that way I am ready for the whole event but just cannot name the name or file the 'pattern name'.

Trading is more subtle than textbook stuff, just like really real life.


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One of the disadvantages of trading a very small account is that there is the possibility that you do not treat the small account with as much care as you normally do a large 'more meaningful' account.

One more proof of the holy grail's location - 'its all inside you between the ears'.


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 iqgod 
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To put things in perspective (and also, to highlight the EXCEPTIONAL folks):

Michael Marcus started out trading with $1,000 then lost it all. Then he proceeded to start over again with $3,000 and got that account up to $30,000. Then he borrowed another $20,000 from his family so he could bet his whole account on going long corn and wheat - he lost it all. Then he had to start over again with $700 of his own money plus his friend chipping in another $700 so he could have enough money to open up an account. That $700 turned into tens of thousands of dollars within a few years.

Richard Dennis, of trend following fame started his trading journey with only $400.


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I used to be very very afraid AFTER there was a profit in hand. Here is how I would typically bail out ALMOST IMMEDIATELY following the breakout leading to profit. Every tick that went against me was a huge monster, my tummy muscles would contract as if bracing for a blow from a hidden enemy waiting to take out my stop.

Here are some examples:



Twitchy nervous fingers, unable to take the strain of a WINNER which MIGHT turn into a loser.

The way to solve this problem is simply to become well versed with YOUR strategy, and know about the market structure to be comfortable in the placement of the stop. This cannot be learned in sim, and has to be done in a small real account.

Here is a trade managed when there is confidence:



Here I waited for price to come to me and then entered on a valid setup at the EMA. My target was predefined - both these gave me confidence in the trade and in me.



Here are some crazy things that I was guilty of to FEED MY EGO and whenever I WANTED TO BE RIGHT:

Look at the huge stop to make one weeny tick winner:






Here is a proper risk reward ratio:




See the differences in both MY mindset and MY equity fluctuations?


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 iqgod 
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The is justification in being a rock rather than being a reed and bending over with every implied change in direction.

Look at how this could've been a single trade if I would have had calmer nerves:



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 iqgod 
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There is no benefit in trying to be a bottom picker:



Trade with the trend - be safe!


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Too often we end up chasing the wrong dream - I am choosing simplicity over everything else



See how the trend itself makes you fear it - I certainly do! - those who exit early and those who trade against the trend usual pay the patient simple trend followers. I have experienced this many times over, yet there is that countertrend itch inside - a sort of fighting spirit but all that is needed is 'the courage to stand alone'.


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 iqgod 
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Dreams too often end up being about money.

As traders we hope for reading the stars and pegging our lives and lifestyles and fixate on a certain 'income' that trading will eventually bring. Would $5000 a month suffice? Would then ten consecutive $1000 months make us go down a rabbit hole chasing wild trades?

Or perhaps if I am too conservative, will I be content with $10 a day and hope to survive?

When will the confidence in ourselves reach a breaking point? Basically, what is the hurry?

Do we simplify our lives to fit our trading income or do we become risk takers? Should we aim for wild hail Mary rides that make many times our targets and dream of them for the next 5 years? 10 years?

I keep realizing that we are very small beings swimming on a raft and the market ocean is a wild beast - all we can do is be brave, and simply execute a trading plan that we have committed ourselves to - we all know what that is.


Like Moana we have our personal Maui with us and all we need to do is say...

"I am Moana of Motunui; you will board my boat and restore the heart to Te Fiti"


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 iqgod 
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Not much difference between traders and artists:



Stick around there... We all CAN do it.


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 iqgod 
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One lot M6E - long, stress free:



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 iqgod 
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The switches do the public in.... I closed out at the top - damn lucky.



Am long again at the EMA - two lots.


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 iqgod 
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The goal for a trader is to develop a system with which he is compatible.

- Ed Seykota

I did not know that there were two parts not one. The first part, because our was so obvious, was of course trading technique.

I had it all written down in great detail - when to buy,when to sell, when to stay out.

This whole set of rules were intellectual in nature - at least that's how they appear on the surface.

However it took a long time to find out that trading is 20% intellectual and 80% psychological.

I took a long time to discover my emotional constitution. Whenever there was no connection between my rules and my methodology EMOTIONALLY, that time was when I lost most capital.

Then came the next round where I thought I was self aware but still kept liking for answers OUTSIDE. It took another bout of capital erasure - almost as if it were a rite of passage though it doesn't have to be.

The way it worked out for me was when I could sense the emotional undercurrent that my rules implied. Use your emotions as pointers. Your profit and loss statement tells you if your emotional side is working.


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 iqgod 
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It sometimes doesn't take long for an account blowout. After the event we are confronted with "What the he'll just happened?"

The reason this happens is because there is no harmony and connection between technique and self awareness. If that is the case THE VOICE THAT SHOUTS LOUDEST cones from the most antagonistic person currently in their life.

Unless there is a conversation with an INNER VOICE of self, unless THAT is the voice that is listened to there can only be trouble.


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 iqgod 
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The other real roadblock, shared between artists and traders is social pecking.

Especially your concept of the self as a person works against you. When every iota of your life has been expended on being right, indeed being 'successful' is unambiguously based on it, striving to be correct takes automatic precedence over 'facing defeat' which is what taking a loss feels like.

Most traders I know say the same thing: They KNOW what to do but they are not able to DO it. They know that they won't make trade after trade that is profitable, they know internally that losers are part of the game.

Basically it boils down to eating mathematical expectation for breakfast every morning and digesting it so that it is what fuels your trading for the entire day.


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 iqgod 
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Arrived at the Aurovalley Ashram for my week long retreat.

It's a serene place by the banks of the river Ganges.

Something spoke to me which I am reproducing here:

Tip
If thy aim be great and thy means small, still act; for by action alone these can increase to thee.

Care not for time and success. Act out thy part, whether it be to fail or prosper.

- Sri Aurobindo



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 iqgod 
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I am having quite a remarkable time at the Aurovalley Ashram.

India is a remarkable place.

I tried trading between the mediation sessions !! - this was a bad idea because this place has support internet connectivity being in the middle is nowhere!



What happened was I took a quick scalp top be excited a few ticks beyond. The direct edition took in my but order but before I could place the target and stop the connection we've kaput.


So I ended up babysitting this trade with a lot more MAE than I like - the consolation being that as a result of focused mediation I was able to observe my emotions more subtly and identify the root causes e.g. I am unable to converge the fact that when I am right on an IDEA but off on execution my demons ask for some 'time please' and I end up giving me wiggle room for the trade.

I am sure this isn't a viable strategy. Meanwhile peace to all and I will be going to the ashram library to read ' Essays on the Gita' now.


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 iqgod 
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Sharing some photos of the ashram I am in:











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 iqgod 
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The Eurusd is stuck in a huge range - in the muscle of my mediation sessions there is a bit of time so traded a bit



The whole concept of trading sometimes mirrors what is really going on in the life of the trader. Yesterday I had exhausted myself after an impromptu trip to Rishikesh, a pilgrimage and adventure town on the River Ganges. So my trading too suddenly became slip shod and sluggish. Traders, I need to stay at the top of my game


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 Mtype 
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Man, I just glimpsed into this journal the other day and fell in love right away. Trading is a very deep inner journey and one of the best self-development tool/activity I have been able to find. May I ask if you employ Vipassana during your active market hours, to see where your execution and management decisions sprout from and how the market behavior effects your inner state?


Quoting 
Moneymaking is not a serious business; it’s a game. At first it may seem that it’s a game that you play with forces outside yourself – the economies of the marketplace, so to speak. But as you proceed, you discover that it’s actually a game you play with yourself!
– Stuart Wilde

Good luck on your meditation

“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” Δ

“There is no path, but only a fool wouldn’t follow it.”
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Mtype View Post
Man, I just glimpsed into this journal the other day and fell in love right away. Trading is a very deep inner journey and one of the best self-development tool/activity I have been able to find. May I ask if you employ Vipassana during your active market hours, to see where your execution and management decisions sprout from and how the market behavior effects your inner state?



Good luck on your meditation

Yes of course, Vipassana is an integral part of my life and trading.

There is just this one issue:

When I am actually self aware and conscious of my state then I am able to react better to the market state. However there are certain triggers which lead to an unconscious escape from this state and that was where my problems lay.

To counter this I take help of a biofeedback device.

In the following video the lower portion is the readout of my biofeedback device. It is not foolproof but any bit of help for staying in the zone is helpful!You can see that there are two fan lines which indicate 'The Zone'.




Thanks for your wishes!


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Here I wish to emphasize that the biofeedback device must ultimately be replaced by the body mind connection.

It is possible and desirable to trade without to many bells and whistles - there is no need to create additional dependencies:



The quote provided by you @Mtype is very pertinent, thanks for it!


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Unfortunately this one subject I have a lot of painful authority on, hence perhaps I may be able to offer something amounting to advice.

To find why I was staring at an account blowup, I systematically got a handle into all my emotions that caused this drama:

1. RELIEF

It's hard to imagine that an account blowup brings the emotion of relief. However that's what was the payoff for me. I used to be relieved from all this responsibility of trying to make a living out of trading. No capital, no further thoughts that making this into a career possible.

2. BELIEF IN OUTSIDE INSTEAD OF WITHIN

When the ego has been allowed it's way in one tiny thing such as allowing a stop loss to be moved 'a bit' there is no telling what would be the next permission that would be granted.

Like the five year old who believes in Santa Claus, you do yourself a disservice by clinging to notions that allow you to DISOWN RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR OWN ACTIONS. Setting a stop, respecting the stop and following the plan are some of them.

There is no fairy tale trade out there without you empowering yourself with responsibility. Rather there is a monster trade waiting to take our your entire account if this becomes a habit. We can easily cultivate bad habits and even continue to profit from bad habits till that ONE TIME.

3. OBSESSIVE COMPULSIVE PROBLEMS

When trading becomes more than JUST A PROFESSION.
Trading may not be being used to make money but to satisfy some inner incompleteness.

4. FORCE, ANGER, PRESSURE

You have been trying so hard to make money...

that you suddenly are overwhelmed with the pressure, the huge demand on your time and concentration and the mind rebels and DECIDES TO BLOW UP.

So how do you prevent all this from happening?

I'd really like to shout out the wrap up, the short summary of the whole thing as simply:
KEEP LOSSES SMALL!!!

That is really ALL there is to it.

Of course this needs supporting material like know your risk, trade your proper size, know when to stop, find a method that is compatible etc but even when you reduce it to the elements the gist ofthe message is the same.

Follow this and the end game WON'T be a account blowout.


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BYGONE SELF

One who searches for a bygone self
and only meets the corpse of his desire...


Why do novices get into trading?

The reasons are many, but their shape is endless.Usually it is some egoistic moment of desire that shapes a formation to fulfill it and the moment out is satisfied our effectively defeated,that form yields place to another.

When One looks for that self it is not there, there is only a trace is that desire that had actuated it into existence, desire fulfilled and past or frustrated or dead.

Trading appeals to a person's autocratic senses - a cycle emerges sooner or later - change occurs in the person and is not always evident because our goes on the subtle levels of his existence.


Tip
This is my humble attempt at demonstrating what trading is on some subtler levels. Please vote below if you find this useful.



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AMBIGUOUS

Here where our half lit ignorance
skirts the gulfs on observing
the dumb movement of ambiguous price.


Market structure works such that it gives no clue to the purpose of its existence. The best light is that of an ignorant which is only half light, a state of awareness that is not in possession of the truth but seeking for it. Everything is shot through and through with this disabling ignorance.


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UNCERTAINTY

Here where one knows not even the step in front
And Truth has to throw on the shadowy back of doubt.


The road of the thinking mind litters across the woods of errors, half truths and doubts and whatever conclusions it comes to always prove tentative as fresh perceptions break upon it and demands modifications or radical changes in the existing thought structures.


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GOD LIGHT : FLASHES OF INSIGHT

Only a little
the God-light can stay



Men refuse to break free from the moorings in ignorance and inconscience and to change themselves sufficiently by way of aspiration to hold the higher light which comes down repeatedly to uplift them. The market always shows its hand to the one who is willing to receive the knowledge.

Even when he responds in the heat of the moment, his past and his habitual inertia drag him down after a time and he sinks down unable to keep pace with the steps of the manifest power that the market is.


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CALM DELIGHT

The calm delight that weds my soul to the task,
The key to flaming doors of equity ecstasy.


The reactions of pain and pressure to which one is normally subject are the result is of his self limitation in the walls of his ego and consequent separation from the rest of the world. He feels all contracts as coming from outside himself and responds with pressure and pain in the manner in which they affect his consciousness - these reactions fortify his sense if separativity from others. If, however, he draws back from this surface action-reaction activity and knows to receive all contents with equality - and that is possible with a deeper base of consciousness - then there settles a calm of being which is not disturbed by outside impacts.

It is possible by certain psychological discipline to remove this veil of separative consciousness and become aware of the true nature of the market. This method is to be found through many ancient psychological disciplines e.g. practice of yoga. Man lives mostly in his surface mind. The process of this self discipline is long and difficult. Outward asceticism is not necessary, but a conquest of desire and attachment and a control over the body and it's needs, greeds and instincts is indispensable.


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INSTANT URGES AND EMOTIONAL TRADING

Miss Market walks upon her mighty way
Unheeding when she breaks a soul, a life


Emotional trading is fine but there should not be unjustified emotional which leads to want of balance, agitation, disharmony of expression or even contrary reactions and nervous disorder.

The dangers are already mentioned in the stanza - the life of an account, viz capital, gets extinguished due to emotional trading.


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A Poem on the Essence of Trading



A pure perception led his eyes
His impartial vision waited not to think
It enveloped the chart in a single glance,
It looked into the very core of price
Deceived no more by form he saw
And knew what lurked unseen unknown
He seized the idea in mind, the wish in the heart
And plucked out grey folds of secrecy
The motives which from their own sight men hide
He heard the inspired sound of his own thoughts
Re-echoed in the charts, thus in other minds
The world's thought-streams travelled into his screen,
But his inner self grew near to humility
And bore a victory's weight, so common now,
Yet stood untouched, king of itself, alone...
He had simply followed his plan!



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OLD LOSSES: FORGOTTEN BUT THERE

At first grieved
On original somnolence
Inert, released into forgetfulness
Prone it reposed, unconscious on mind's verge
Obtuse and tranquil like the stone and star.


Never underestimate the power of pent up emotion.

As an evolving trader in the process of growth a semi conscious paradox exists - we experience pain and grief but then it lays at repose in the folks of material consciousness not yet awakened to self awareness. The pain is lost in itself, immobile and unresponsive, there is no active awareness. However it has the potency to set into motion destructive forces within. The setup for failures is hidden!


THE FALLACY OF PAINFUL LOSS BEING REMOTE

The trader is aware of the problem of a big loss being around the corner calling for a solution, but really this has not been worked out before taking the next trade. This is because the possibility of a big loss feels remote though it isn't.The trader would rather live in his illusion than take simple steps to stay safe.

OLD ACHE

Then a slow faint remembrance shadowlike moved,
And sighing we recognize the close and lingering ache,
Deep quiet old made natural to outs place
But knew not why it was there not whence it came!


The problem we actually are trying to address as traders is simply to keep loss small. However this somehow seems insurmountable in practice- even such a simple thing!

This is because of the many many conditionings that we subject our minds to during trading and create secret places in the unaware mind such as loss aversion, risk avoidance - these are replaced by a dull pain. This is sensed in the being and even recognized to have been there for long, so much so it almost seems natural. Also trying to find whence it came from also seems to come up with a blank. The way out of this is to cultivate the habit of placing stops and respecting them - this can be achieved by a personal accountability tool e.g. via journaling

This is my humble attempt at demonstrating what trading is on some subtler levels. Please vote below if you find this useful.


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THE ISSUE - PAST

Dying, it lived imperishably inside

The past is quickly replaced by the future and recedes from the eye. But on that account it does not entirely cease to be. All the movements that are past, thoughts, feelings, activities, leave a mark, a concrete sediment in the subconscious layers in the mind and constitute themselves into a factor top be reckoned with not only in the present that succeeds it but also in the furore to come. They form predispositions sanskaras in the nature and influence the growth and reactions and impulses. Every bit in the past lives in its essence in the memory and goes on exerting its pull.


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STEP BACK

He feels his witnessing self
and conscious power steps back, and
sees the light


As long he is completely involved and grappling with day to day stuff man is not really aware of himself. But with the growth of consciousness there comes an awareness of something in himself that is not involved in the outer movement. As he looks within and concentrates his attention on it he begins to experience the mind of division in his being: a part that is active and another part that does not participate in the movement but stands aloof , a witness that takes cognisance of the activity but does not step into it. And when aware of this dynamism in action and a self that is aloof in himself, the trader takes a step further inwards supporting both the static and dynamic part interacting effortlessly together.


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CHOICE

Press back the senseless fire, the revolving wheel
And stop the mute march of necessity.

Living choice reverses fate
Affirm your tread on Circumstance


Only a force of will from an existence beyond the normal routine wheel of life which turns mechanically without saving any sensation and which moves under the pressure of a gathered momentum without questioning. Make your choice, use your will and bring it to bear upon the developing situation.

Only your strong will to follow your plan will allow you to perform under pressure.


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KEEP AT IT

Even when we fail to look
Or lie embedded in base consciousness
Still we have parts that grow towards the light.


A trader is a complex being in evolution. He had many parts though he is conscious of only one or two on the exterior. Whether he is aware of them our not, keeping the practice and putting on the screen time allow all of them to grow in consciousness drawing in their own way from the experiences gathered by the frontal being and register their own development.


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INTUITIVE STOPS

… Sometimes, when our sight turned within
The ignorant veil is lifted from our eyes;
There is a short miraculous escape.


I cannot even begin to count the tons of times when I've miraculously escaped a stream roller of a trend in the opposite direction of my trade when my inner voice told me to escape. Heed your own wisdom. There is wisdom only in capital preservation, and you'll know whether you are listening to a cowardly voice or a wise one.


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VALIDATION

The truth mind could not know unveils its face
We live what common hearts repel and dread


These are the times when our trades work and give us many times over our recent losses and still some. These situations are when the public is caught on the wrong side of a gigantic move.

These times are not to be taken lightly. Neither celebrated brashly. Be extra aware after huge wins, and tread as if nothing has changed.


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UNKNOWN TO UNKNOWN

All we have learned appears a doubtful guess
The achievement seems to be a phase
A chance happening
Out of unknown we move to the unknown.


There is still no certainty about anything even though we have caught the, say, biggest move in history. What is acquired and cherished as definite knowledge at one stage comes to be shaken by subsequent developments and all that one learns passes under the shadow of doubt. So too things that are done in the field is execution have no finality about them - transitions occur and all appears to be a play of chance and incalculable.

None knows the origin of this movement, from where and when it had commenced (relatively); neither does one know where all this is leading to. There us only a uncertain knowledge of the presser that had come upon a surge of an unknown past and which is fast merging into a future beyond!


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MISSED TRADES

A few rare intimations come as guides
And sometimes in the hours of watching and muse
The truth that we have missed! looks out at us
Now far off yet it was within our reach!


Though there are high moments when we are guided by revealing intimations inside us, yet sometimes in endless hours of contemplation and watching we fail to see the obvious trade that was being setup before us in broad daylight all along.

The advice is to still stay in the present. Don't disarm your selves voluntarily by raging inwards and trying to make up for the slip by chasing price. Stay loaded and shoot the next one down, possible only when you are grounded and have free capital and energy that you are not wasting in babysitting your late hasty entry.

Thus, missed trades are just missed trades and not personal abuses being hurled at you so there is no need to get worked up.


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PATIENCE FOR THE NEXT ONE ALWAYS

A trade comes near but flees from surmise
And, an ever postponed entry, compels attempt and hope,
But if early, and having eaten your losses share,
So now it's too great a risk to rely on mortal hope to dare
.


Failures and disappointments must not make one take trades based on hope. Ever. Now and again the market seems to be on the verge of a new development, but things fall back at the crucial moment and once again. The seemingly old rounds have to be done again before conditions are ready for another attempt.

The desperate our impatient trader tries to seize every opportunity to forge ahead, but gets thrown back subtly when the preparation is not complete.

You know when the market is showing it's hand that it is ready. If you eat too many losses in the initial chop you will feel it is now too much risk to take the proper trade when it comes along.


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EXTRA PATIENCE COMES WITH PROCESS

Soliciting from dumb price and toiling time
No answers are forthcoming, how to stay serene
Follow the process, the plan, that alone knows
What a trader needs, what most exceeds his scope!



There are empty times when a trader cannot fathom the market, unable to make sense of the movement, in such times the virtue of patience is great.

The trader is aware of the Will inside that will determine the next trade and an effective process that unrolls itself in terms of the time - the process he's designed to give the trader what he is the most in the need of and protects him from what lies beyond his range.


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PROFITABLE TRADING: SEED WITHIN


This mass of unintelIigible movements - The way that things happen in this market is often most bewildering. Things do not at all seem to be governed by any understandable Law. Often the very reverse of what we would expect according
to the canons of 'Law and Order' takes place, leading
one to believe that all is the work of a haphazard Chance and it is vain to look for some basis of order in the market. This, however, is only an appearance. The key to the truth of things lies within, the outer is always determined by the inner. The movement of every tick, the working of every force is ultimately governed by the truth that seeks to manifest that form or movement. In the process of the working out of this truth-not visible to the outer eye - while many possibilities may intervene and give the run to our egos, the will of the soul within prevails. All that which follows is a result of our inner state!

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STRANGER TO SELF

Ourself and a high stranger whom we feel
We are but act as if we are not
Sometimes we identify with a failure
Seeming to perish with its mortal frame


It is on the rare occasions when there is a breakthrough in the being within that the trader becomes aware of something in him that is at his center. Most times however the trader identifies himself with the most antagonistic person in their lives instead of being their true selves.

A silence overhead, an inner voice
A vision seated in the heart
An unwalled wildness and a fashioned point
He sees the secrets no words can speak.


While price movement seems to have been initiated by some freak chance in the cosmos or some reason the trader is blind to. But the trader is so tuned to the market that he can dance to its every flip, fling and toss - like an intimate pair. The Zone is within reach and the barrier is the trader himself who has fashioned himself negatively with corresponding the inner beliefs. The real person inside has to come out.

Reference: The Mental Game of Poker by Jared Tendler


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DECEIVING OUTWARD PLAY

These heed not the deceiving outward play
They turn not to the moment's busy tramp
But listen with the still patience for the Unborn
For the slow footsteps of the Trade
Approaching through huge distances of Time



The surface happenings are apt to mislead as to their causes and results. A vision confined to the crowded hour of the phenomenon cannot grasp the full significance of the whole movement. Those that use their impartial eyes as guides, are not blinded by these local or temporary factors and are aware that there is a truth and they tune themselves to it, undeflected in their attention by the rush of forces that battle with each other to effectuate themselves, untired by the long time taken by the determinant to emerge from the depths for the proper moment of manifesting.


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DON'T INVOLVE IMAGINATION, IT OVERRIDES LOGIC


A conjecture leaning upon doubtful proofs,
A message misunderstood, a thought confused
Missing its aim is all that it can speak


When what the mind expresses is as unsatisfactory, inadequate and even wrong as what it conceives - LISTEN TO IT.

It knows when it conjectures upon undependable data or builds upon imagination based on illegitimate extension of experience; it does receive messages from higher faculties like inspiration, intuition etc. But it sometimes misunderstand or for a trader only partially on the horizon, it mentalises it in haste and in the process often fails to grasp the true trade. And naturally when it proceeds to put into expression what it so faultily conceives, the result is none too satisfactory.


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TRENDS

As the height draws the low ever to climb,
As the breadths draw the small to adventure vast,
Their aloofness drives man to surpass himself.


Though the great trends of the market thus
stand far above the top as advice for newbies - the worlds's most Ignorant too profit from them, their very being exercises a compelling inuflence on those below who are still not in. Thus trends and their existence in the fullness of their might and their knowledge exerts an incessant pressure on the lower bounds to grow and to rise to the freer summits above. What
is unattained always attracts labour to attain ; the heights ever beckon those below to climb up to them, the large always moves the little to enlarge itself and break out of its smallness. Similarly there needs to be surrender to the transcendence of this Power for the possibility of attaining a status above the existing boundaries of normal trading and a supertrend inspires him to leap beyond the confines of his mundane tries - The cliched 'stay with the trend'.

Stay sane, stay safe - and just follow the plan no matter now big it gets. The crowd WILL go mad, make sure you are not a part of it so that you can capitalize on it.


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Someone said to me once that if he wasn't holding an axe you would think he was talking about trading. Must watch.


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Allow Yourself to Make Mistakes - LOTS of them!!

Adventure may seem the system to get rich
But fortuitous gains are actually safe results
Of a person's test of his theories, error-willing
And errors discourage not his confident view
Failure does not slow the fiery clutch
One chance makes true and warrants all the rest!


The novice loves adventure and considers even chance gains adequate and worthwhile results for his labours. This is because of ignorance of the simple workings - success is expected all along, but not in each stride!

The real riches are a result of very safe bets, made consistently, cooly and as a main point - made with a open view that the trade and many other trades may lose money, but without getting distracted by the losses from the experiments, and without changing mindset midway there will come a time when all this is warranted because ultimately he WILL walk home with the money.



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WHAT TO DO NOW? HOW TO DECIDE?

Instinct lies beyond the dam of discipline
Attempt, not victory is its charm,
Yet its works are not small and vain nor null
It is nursed by a portion of your inner strength
And can create the high things it wills
Its passion catches what calm intelligence misses
It oft sires an uncertain winner of uncertain stakes!


Impulsivity is not without value. Some of the more concrete trades come out as a by product of impulsivity. What the intelligence in the calmer attitudes of the mind misses is seized by the passionate rushes of this impulse-mind.

Instinct is at the root of existence and desire its impulsion to movement.

If this sounds a bit too esoteric to digest, let's begin at the beginning. What we traders aim for is being consistent in our actions, i.e. overall we have pegged our confidence in repeatable actions and thus we come to trust ourselves for this behavior.

So what are the roadblocks that are hit that cause one to not be consistent in ones emotional state? The plan is to stay true to ones plan and avoid impulsive beahvior. But what if I told you that, (let me confess) that some of my best trades have actually come from a momentary impulse, a flash, and they were the difference between a profitable year vs ending red.

So impulsivity must be broken down into components - and there you need to place ticks against approprate places based on your inner personal journey - your state space so to speak.

Meditation and yoga sure help with controlling impulsivity. Not only that, meditation even helps discern between the impulse that 'feels right' vs one that is 'bogus' or 'ego driven'. We make emotional decisions all the time and many of these decisions result in positive outcomes. In fact trading is nothing but a game of emotion management at its best.

Biofeedback actually helped me a lot (I use an emWave2 - I only half-heartedly recommend it for other activities, but its very useful while trading).

The gist boils down to YOU - what makes impulsive trades harmful vs useful?

"You Cannot Prevent the Birds of Sorrow from Flying over Your Head, but You Can Prevent Them from Building a Nest in Your Hair" – Chinese Proverb

Thus, the correct path is that impulses will come and go but we will dedicate our delicate energy to the balancing act of action and action only. The impulses which are 'correct' - this comes by impassive observation, and remembering that no method, no chart is black and white! - have the power to put you into a coherent state where you are one with the market and makes you lot of money on a volatile day where quick reactions cannot come from the calmer mind but truly manifest automatically when you have done the homework of knowing yourself.


What is knowing yourself?

It is becoming a person who is majority of an OBSERVER, and who knows that HE is not the thoughts that run through his mind, and once there is an experience of this SEPARATION then the automatic stream of thoughts CEASES, and you become more powerful because you actually realize YOU ARE IN CONTROL!


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 iqgod 
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I actually posted this as something additional in Watching Paint Dry:


Once there is sufficient practice on these lines, the matter has actually been decided even before you take the first trade. Not the trade location, not the what-if analysis, because these are static and subject to change AND there is a very real danger of we imposing our expectations on the market and 'concluding' or 'feeling' that we know what the market MAY do next but really, the best approach is within ourselves, knowing that we are still knowing ourselves while engaging with the market in the now.

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This is my humble attempt at demonstrating what trading is on some subtler levels. I sincerely hope that it will help someone as much as it has helped me especially when I used to be a newbie on these forums. Please vote below if you find this useful.



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A small warning!

One important things especially in the Western thought process (we are guilty of the same, we ape the West diligently!) is that we ask logical reasoning to do far too much. Logic has a legitimate place; however I will try to present a warning into the 'I am logical, I am calm' fallacy I have painfully experienced more than once - some slightly esoteric but practical ground work follows.


"Nirvikalpa samādhi", which means 'absorption without self-consciousness', is a merger of the mental activity (cittavṛtti) in the Self, to such a degree, or in such a way, that the distinction (vikalpa) of knower, act of knowing, and object known becomes dissolved — as waves vanish in water, and as foam vanishes.

Thus now a trader replaces the standard action of 'considers the potential trade carefully' with a more coherent action 'makes free from uncertainty or false discrimination' - this is not automatic bot trading, and this state I have experienced it maybe two times out of ten, but this 'really attuned with market' experience occurs when there is complete cessation of all thought-constructs.

Of course there is such a thing as too much of a good thing - there were times when I 'assumed this mode as permanent' - and casually walk up to my platform and simply, without preparation, without any conditioning, most ridiculously would place a trade - this has ended in a mindless and complete account blow-out. The whole fiasco has occurred at times when there was no base to do this - e.g. I would not have meditated or journalled for some time and all my demons were actually alive and clicking (pun intended) and licking their chops and pretending to be my 'calm self'.


To put this on a more technical note - all the Samskaras (conditioning / state / habits / rites) and Vasanas (desires / passions / impulses) which bring on this calamity are having a free run. All Vrittis or mental modifications that arise from the mindare still not under restraint. The five afflictions, viz., Avidya (ignorance), Asmita (egoism), Raga-dvesha (love and hatred) and Abhinivesha (clinging to life) are the destroyers when they are uninhibited without logical faculties - many an account has perished by my own hands.

Basically what I have found is that almost always without fail great efforts are required for intuitive trading or any form of trading and this method or mindfulness or price action or anything else that pretends to be an utopia or solution is not a panacea.

The feeling that no longer does a trader have to work hard is the real killer of successful traders. Nothing can be more preposterous! Real trading is always hard work, even during fast money phases, and even so during chop, and even so during clueless beginnings, and even when the market has 'revealed its hand' - the unexpected is always just around the corner, but it can be tamed when we know ourselves and gradually learn more about it by putting in our screentime based on this attitude towards the market.


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 iqgod 
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I am not at all happy with the session - I am back from the peaceful ashram stay and this was the first session in the midst of daily life and it seems some of the older problems have resurfaced.

Let me highlight some of the issues I faced in the session:

1. I allowed momentary lapses multiple times while trading live - I did not give preference to trading and tried to manage chores, pretty much like this



At one point I suddenly forgot about my screen and went happily off to fix my bicycle - this probably is is due to the disoriented feeling a sort of post-ashram daze. After a lot of while I had a chilling feeling and realized what I had done - raced back home on the fixed bike and returned to the call of duty - some bad things had already happened however, and it added to my internal rage where I started chasing price but recovered well before I would have inflicted lot of damage (hindsight reveals the damage would've been very bad) !

2. I went mad in chop areas trying to 'keep the winners small!!!', I need to remind myself that I have done this properly by simply following my plan and can continue to do it unlike today where thought the market was subservient and I was the boss, leading to losses bigger than my profile



Thus the bad stuff that happened was due to:

a. Internal rage at missing out some good opportunities
b. Going for the big win (not again!) and allowing nice profitable trades to turn into losers - this continued for a lot of time. Greed needs to be checked - thinking about this I never needed a handle on greed too often, only after feeling down do I feel a need to get big wins from the market - maybe the ashram life to real life transition is weighing heavily on my mood.




3. And this is what my plan is all about - basically the balanced R:R keeps me going, and not being correct




The usual R:R is happily at 1:1 but these days I am shooting for 1:3 and 1:2 ratios too and these are working equally well as the 1:1 perceived ones!


4. Simple is difficult but worth striving for. I added complexity by taking trades lasting 6 hours or more though they started out as a scalp - inside I know I goofed up, so this is a confession for a trader who tries to keep trades short and small to free up time for other things in life (the kids were missing their daddy after his week long ashram hiatus!)




I need to be a trader, I need to be a trader, .... come back to NOW - I am a trader:






One good thing:

I am consistently spotting the right spots to get in and out, a bit ahead of my fellow traders. As you know a trader needs his fellow traders to run the race and in the same direction as he alone cannot drive price where it needs to go to make a profit :-):




This video session covers an entire 24 hour session starting from European session of 16th May till the European session of 17th May.



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Keep wanting to short the 6E and go long ES.

No sign of "Sell in May and go away?" this year, but can happen any black swan moment.

However the current area does not appear to be a major turning point on either charts. Hence long ES, short 6E.


Going on to actually short the 6E now....


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So the trade has started... will post the charts later as am headed for office and won't be able to manage this 6E short, but here are some things of importance:

1. The trading range of 6E is now nicely defined and we are at the top - the areas is right for a short.

2. There are multiple setups starting to confirm the short.

3. The trigger is a pinbar - this is a single price bar and represents a sharp reversal and rejection of price - with a stop above its top, have entered at the break of its bottom.

This move may go on for a long distance, almost to the other end of the huge trading range.

I will try to watch a bit later and might get out and in again based on how it moves, though the umbrella theory is 'short 6E'.


Long trades hence will be ignored.

Also, in case I am wrong then the equity 'sell in May' thumbrule would've officially begun! (I would make one more short if this hits the stop loss, based on further developments.)


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When the flight was about to land, return journey from the ashram, a bunch of kids from a family obviously returning from vacation shouted 'Home Sweet Home!'

I have been trading from home sweet home for three days now and the uncertain yet cozy feeling of being a proper trader is returning. Trading on the move changes the whole process, and there is added uncertainty about spotty internet.


However the real issue is thinking of time as a limited commodity (during travel) whereas at home, being a trader being at it, the time a trade goes on for can be limitless - even hours or half a day. Yesterday's rather long video post was a example.

This journal has become a tool for shaping my internal maps; by typing it all down based on the somewhat egoistic thought that it might help someone else - but realizing that ultimately it is helping me most. Perhaps that is all that is really required.


I have spent countless hours now in front of charts - if my ball park is correct then the mandatory 10,000 hours so much touted are now done.


Two microlots are helping my psychology as I close one fairly quickly and allow the other one to reach its official target.

I had actually believed in myself last year - was actually green and all, however in the last two months gave it all back and more (chronicled in my previous journal of 'Pleasant Surprise').

Now, however I feel the money will come naturally - I am over the 'learning curve' and am also trying to share my struggles and like other open journals mine is not pretty at times.

Also, here on this forum, in this protected place I feel a lot of other calm individuals whom I can really and truthfully call my friends - I've met only a few in person! However this is better, solitude and silence works wonders for our accounts.

So, saying this, let me finish up my official journal entry and really head to office. As usual, if you feel inclined, and no compulsion, please vote for me on the link below - it will help me a lot to realize my dreams.


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Stopped out!!

Now going for the second attempt short entry as this seems to be the blow off stage.


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Stopped out!!

Now going for the second attempt short entry as this seems to be the blow off stage.

Last days overbought means nothing, it just climbs and climbs through the resistances like they does not exist

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Separation of the inner silent being from the outer active one, so that one has two-part consciousness or a double consciousness, one behind watching and observing and finally controlling and changing the other which is active in front.


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Friday was good for rule based trading but an account killer if one had gone against the trend.

I initially bought and captured a fair amount of the move but then mindlessly shorted, shorted and got stopped out, stopped out - I was supposed to try my theory TWICE, however I went on a spree and attempted this six times, this was definitely NOT trading - death by a thousand cuts.



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Quoting 
Advice from @matthew28

For me if I start to dig a big hole for myself I tend to carry on. If I am so out of sync with what the market is doing or telling me, or just trading really badly, I almost never suddenly completely turn it around and get in line with the market and start trading well. I find it hard to be positive and trade confidently and accept the potential loss when I enter if I already consciously know that by clicking the mouse I am breaking my rules just putting the trade on. It isn't trading with a plan, it is just crossing my fingers and hoping, or revenge trading. You are not learning anything positive by carrying on, just bad habits and feeling wretched with yourself at the end of the day.

Everybody has done this. Having losing days much larger than you intend through not following your rules will not allow you to be consistently profitable.

You just repeat the same thing every day. This doesn't actually mean you do exactly the same thing every day as the market is different every day and does what it wants, but you control the only bit you can by focusing on your own process and rules and doing those the best you can and letting the daily ups and downs in the results even out to a positive through gradually building up over days, weeks, months, years.

The trouble with trading is that it all sounds simple before or after but ‘during’ is when the problems start. I think a lot of it is confidence and belief in what you are doing and how you do it, assuming the basic trading methodology is sound. With that confidence one can shrug off the losing days as just the cost of business and irrelevant to overall performance. Self sabotage destroys confidence.




I will be reading this over and over today. Thanks @matthew28


6E keeps going up and I keep selling small positions and killing myself. Shame!


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 iqgod 
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HIGHER PERSONALITY

A greater personality sometimes
Possesses us which yet we know it's ours


There are times when one becomes conscious of the displacement of one's habitual ego bound, limited, working self by a new personality which begins to make itself felt and acts. It is important not to lose touch with this higher self which comes into its own. This is where we want to be, this is the state we want to sustain.


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 iqgod 
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A drowning man will cling to any straw - found fidget spinners thanks to @Itchymoku:




https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucelee/2017/05/19/heres-the-science-behind-the-fidget-spinner-craze/



I used to struggle with two bad habits:


1. Exiting early, not holding my winners.

2. Moving my stop losses if the price threatened to take me out of a losing trade.

My hand would be on the mouse button and click... click there would move the stop away from the threatening price action.




Time and again I would fall prey to these two vicious habits. I needed to find a way to restrain myself.

Then I tested a 'committment device' - basically a kitchen safe with a timer which would lock whatever contents you put in for a few minutes, hours or even days.



Though intended for the cookies and candies I started dumping my mice in (these were the days of desktops, and there were no touch screens). Crippled without input devices I would HAVE to watch the market take out my stop or reach my target without fail!




Research has shown that precommitment i.e. commitment to do something in a SPECIFIC TIME BOUND manner is the ultimate way to beat temptation. Precommitment means committing early, BEFORE that moment, when you know you will be tempted by bad choices later.




Creating or changing a habit requires significant willpower. Unfortunately, willpower is finite. Every decision from choosing what to eat, what to wear, what to say, and so on, consumes our willpower. When we run out of willpower, we start making bad decisions; this is known as decision fatigue. Commitment devices help us conserve willpower and avoid decision fatigue by removing temptations we would normally fight throughout the day or week and leaves us freed up to expend our willpower against things that matter. This is especially true for traders (scalpers).





The best strategy is not to rely on willpower in all situations and save it for emergencies. There are tricks, such as using commitment devices, that enable you to conserve willpower for those moments when it's indispensable. These techniques require relatively little willpower to implement, and therefore leave you sharper for your most challenging moments.



One very important note if you using this is that THERE IS NO OVERRIDE. Once you put something inside the box, it will stay there until the timer counts down.



These devices are kinda obsolete - you can RDC to your desktop, laptops have built in input devices, touch screens are abundant.... however this post serves to remind me of the depth of the problems and the funny lengths I went to to solve them!


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