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Zen & the Art of The Small Account


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Zen & the Art of The Small Account

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  #611 (permalink)
 cory 
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aztrader9 View Post
..

To my utter surprise, I was focused and seeing where price might go and I was also deciding in advance what I would do if it got there and why. ...

Same as what I have observed, time away from your screen actually helps you to see market better.

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  #612 (permalink)
 PandaWarrior 
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So yesterday was so good that I was pumped up. Could not wait to get to the screen today.

I gotta say, trading this way is boring. I like it. But the trouble is boredom leads to lack of concentration which lead to missed trades. Which is in part what happened today.

I made a couple of one lot trades: Both losers. In between them a 5 lot trade winner. So positive on the day.

The rest of the morning I was bored stiff. There were a few trade yes, I did not take them as they seem marginal at best in the grinding action we saw early on.

The chart says it all. When prices broke short, I was unprepared. In fact, I was prepared for exactly the same thing but to the upside.

Half way down the sell off leg, I got pissed at myself for missing what had happened....namely prices running into resistance and simply reversing like it should.....I got up and walked away for about 15 minutes to avoid revenge trading. Then I scalped a couple of 1 lot trades and was up around 60 ticks total.

Then I got bored again and scalped out a couple of one lot losers. So I left again. Came back and yelled at a friend of mine that constantly changes his charts and scalped a couple more winners....basically got back what I had lost. So an ok day in terms of money.

BUT I give myself a D for the performance. I passed (green on the day) but just barely.

After a bit I was just disgusted and said to heck with it and went for lunch.

What I did wrong today.
1. I did not capitalize on the opportunities that presented themselves. This as a result of a few failed trades that looked really good. I think I began to distrust myself so when real opportunity came, I hesitated and of course you never make money when you hesitate.
2. I took some trades in the chop.....but price action "looked" to be leading toward some of the few real scalps that happened.

What I did right today:
1. I avoided almost all the chop. Any other day I would have gotten destroyed by it. Not so much today. I think sticking to my rules to only trade certain price patterns and indicator looks really helps with this.
2. I traded small when I was uncertain and I traded large when I was pretty confident.
3. I added a 350SMA to my 6 range chart to approximate the 50SMA on the 18 range chart. Its not exact, but is pretty close. Usually within a few ticks. I dont trade with it, just use it as a visual guide regarding the larger time frame trend.

What I noticed about price action today:

The very best trades are the ones that originate at S/R on the 18 range. These trades have almost NO confirmation anywhere. Nothing to lean on except that price hit a certain point. Usually by one tick sometimes 3-4 ticks.....but in almost all cases, these lead to big winners with VERY low risk. The only exception to this is win prices actually breaks through the level, but you know you are wrong VERY fast and with minimal damage. This trade feels like stepping front of a freight train. I saw them several times today but just could not do it. Maybe a few more days of seeing it happen over and over will instill some trust in me to take these trades.

Chart is pretty rough, I marked it in real time but it was really messy so I cleaned it up a bit. The trades did not get into ninja so I could plot them for you. So you just get the chart and some narrative today.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #613 (permalink)
 PandaWarrior 
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Fantastic day to make money.

I was coughing like a smoker on a ventilator. Chest congestion and unpleasant stuff coming up from my chest constantly.

So I missed most of the fireworks due to coughing so much....But I managed 150 ticks today in between fits of coughing. But my uncles three legged dog could have made money today....so no big feat.

I'm exhausted from all the coughing so this is about it for today. Running to Mexico for some meds. I ran out this week...

Here's hoping this cold/flu/infection or whatever it is goes away over the weekend.

Cheers

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #614 (permalink)
 PandaWarrior 
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I spent the weekend really dialing in my thoughts on how to trade my system.....but more importantly, I thought about when NOT to trade, what that really looked like and I gave a ton of thought about position sizing.

I did not come to any real concrete conclusions, but what I did come to realize is this: No system will ever be perfect as much as I want it to be. So just trade what I have. Its good enough. And be flexible. Recognize that good set ups are gonna show up and look different than what I want them to look like. The correct way to trade those opportunities with with less size if you are unsure about the exact nature of the set up. Also, don't be greedy with the exits on these kind of situations. Take the trade, take some profit and wait for another set up. Eventually, I will get one that looks really good, thats the time to go all in and take larger profits.

So thats what I did today. I traded between 1 and 5 lots, had 43 total round turns on 15 trades and ended up with a net of 53 ticks average per contract on a 68% win rate. All in all, my best day ever. I took no counter trend trades even though some good ones presented themselves and they did in fact produce winners. I also passed on LOTS of trades that more or less met my entry criteria but I just was not super excited about them. Had I taken those, my net would be MUCH higher. But I am good with that. Why, because I made a conscious decision to pass on each one for a specific reason. Good, bad or indifferent, I made the decision and lived with the result.

What I did wrong today:
1. My real weakness was recognizing that I was totally trend trading today and not letting profits run longer than I did. In fact, I think my average win was about 5 ticks per contract. In CL, thats kinda small, letting the winners run would have been a real powerful thing today. But then again, I'm not really set up to catch the long trends so I guess I shouldn't complain to much.
2. I took two trades that never met a single entry rule. BUT I only traded one lot on each, stop was small and both were losers.

What I did right today:
1. I was flexible.
2. I kept losses very small.
3. I did not let winners turn into losers
4. I chose trades based on what I saw, not on what I wanted to see.
5. I honored every single stop. I put the stop in the right place and never touched it after that.
6. I chose targets more or less the right way based on my interpretation of S/R.
7. I never panicked on any losing trade nor did I feel particularly euphoric over any winning trade. The pleasure was reserved for after trading was finished.
8. I held my trades until they were completed. I did not bail out of a trade early even once today. I did move my target down on a trade as it was running into unexpected resistance and I did get out of that trade before my intended target and it turns out that was a good move. The trade would have resulted in a loser. But no bails just because I got nervous.
9. I went from being short biased early to being long biased after the trend changed.....and I anticipated the change before it actually happened with a game plan formulated if it did change and one if it did not and resumed its downward move.
10. I had NO chop trades today. Not even one. I just waited it out.

What I can improve:
1. Targeting. I was off quite a bit in my interpretation of where S/R would be.
2. I could have been and should have been more aggressive in trading both the short trend and the long trend. Instead, I hesitated a few times and it cost me money in terms of lost opportunity on trades I actually wanted. I think this happened about 5-8 times today. This will come with time I think as I trust myself more and more to make good decisions.

Trading multiple time frames rocks!

No charts today, I did not mark them in real time and I am to lazy to do it now. But I did include a screen shot of the order book if you want to look at the times and fills. Times are CST on the screen shot.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #615 (permalink)
 PandaWarrior 
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I never got in sync today.

For starters, I over slept quite a bit. Happens when you blow the weekend staying up late at night and expect to catch up during the week.

Anyway, got to the computer about 10 mins til the open. Only trade was a counter trend trade against the larger time frame and so I elected not to enter. Prices transitioned from short to long and I failed to make the switch, by the time I did, I was chasing, I got a full stop out and then a couple of smaller winners to get me to almost even followed by two more full stops.

I hit the brakes at this point and called it a day.

What I did right today:
Not much:

What I did wrong today:
1. Most of all I failed to make the switch from short to long.
2. I chased.
3. Even though I recognized a good CT with plenty of room for my CT strategy, I did not take the trades. Honestly, these were the only real set ups I saw this morning that did not require me to chase.
4. I was NOT flexible like yesterday. I was rigid and unwilling to flow with the market.

Live to fight another day.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #616 (permalink)
 bluemele 
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haha.. Similar paths today. Out of Sync w/ sleep/schedule and couldn't get long...

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  #617 (permalink)
 PandaWarrior 
In the heat
 
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I had a ton of distractions this morning...Result....I was down $580 at one point.....then I had to run some personal errands and when I got back, the distractions were gone and I could focus.....I dug out of the hole, got to +$580 and after a bit of impatience, gave back about half and ended the day +$260.

For the kind of day I had, this result is OK but not optimum.

I am having a tough time breaking through the 30 tick barrier for some reason. I have broken it a couple of times this week but prior to this week, 30 ticks is where I seem to break down and start giving back.

So for the next couple of weeks I am going to risk 20 ticks per contract to make 30 ticks per contract. If I can do this 4 out of 5 days a week, then I'll try for more but for now, I think I need to establish a walk away point for both stops (which I already have but its more than 20 ticks) and also for profit.

On a personal level, some really awful things happened over the weekend that really threw me for a loop. You know those things that blindside you from nowhere? Well I had one on Saturday. I had a really visceral reaction to something someone said. It took the weekend to really process and today I was able to make it right. Or at least begin the process. It was easier than I thought.

Also this week, my trading journey is 2 years old. In many respects it is a journey filled with regrets and missed opportunity. Its also a journey of self discovery and in some ways, self improvement. The improvement process has been unexpected. I expected to become a good trader. But becoming a better person, that I did not expect. In truth, I have fought that process quite a bit. I want to hold on to some of my bad habits. They have served me well in the past but in trading they are death. One of my habits is to try to bend people and circumstances to my will. That really works out well in trading! NOT. Learning to let go, to give people the space and grace to be themselves, to speak freely, to just be, without me driving them with my agenda is becoming liberating.

Two years into this journey, I am more at peace with myself than I ever thought possible. There are aspects of my trading that have bled over into my spiritual journey as well. This has been really unexpected. To be where I am and actually be comfortable with it. Happy, no but content, yes. What does this mean? To me it simply means that I am at my best when I am not depending on my own strength and simply trusting in my God. The knowledge that He has my best at heart is enough. Even though I may not recognize or experience it as such, it is still enough.

Anyway, this week marks the end of my sophomore year in trading. I am looking forward to the next couple of years.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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 Ryanb 
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Hi there aztrader,

The 30 tick is your daily ceiling right?

I had the same this is how i came thru it: I got excited about the money most of the time 300
If you are also excited about the money, turn all your pnl in to percentages. thats what made me really get to the next level.
maybe it will help for you as well.

happy trading

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 PandaWarrior 
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Ryanb View Post
Hi there aztrader,

The 30 tick is your daily ceiling right?

I had the same this is how i came thru it: I got excited about the money most of the time 300
If you are also excited about the money, turn all your pnl in to percentages. thats what made me really get to the next level.
maybe it will help for you as well.

happy trading

Thanks. I keep track in ticks anyway. I learned long ago to turn the dollar signs off. Just play for chips and the money will follow.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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 tderrick 
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Hey, AZ... hope all is well

I have a question about stops... If you have a 10 or 15 tick winner going and price comes back at you, do
you bail for a small profit, or let it get into the red towards your stop or even take out your stop. I have some
pretty large stops going these days. And it's tough to have 15 tick winner turn into a 15 tick loser.

I have the biggest problem with this....


AJ
Nashville, Tennessee


"Life On The Edge of SR"
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