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Zen & the Art of The Small Account
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Zen & the Art of The Small Account

  #71 (permalink)
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Exhausted

I have an addiction. Brad Thor books. I read one last night until midnight. Bad news. I am up at 5AM most days and I need 7hours minimum to function the next day. I tossed and turned all night after starting and finishing one of Brad's books. I got about 2-3 hours max.

Trading was bad. I count myself lucky to get away with only a $93 loss today. Should not have even went to the computer today.

The signals were there, I was in a fog. I have not done any debriefs on the trades yet either. Will do tomorrow afternoon.

Spent the day after trading taking care of my kid, running around in the 110 degree Arizona heat, and now its 7:30 and I'm about 30 minutes away from turning in for the night.

See you tomorrow.....

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
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  #72 (permalink)
 R.I.P. 1960-2010 
 
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You withdrew and went into your own trading world this week. After the 'rific idea, what happened?

R.I.P. Andy Zektzer (ZTR), 1960-2010.
Please visit this thread for more information.
 
  #73 (permalink)
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End of week.


Double the account this week. I had a full stop out this morning which hit my daily stop loss. So only one trade today. After I went back and looked at yesterday, I actually had a winning day instead of a small losing day. I have no idea why I thought it was a loser other than I was totally exhausted and just figured wrong.

Anyway, here is the tracking sheet I have created to track this account.

I'll throw the charts up later this weekend as I am short on time today.....

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
Attached Thumbnails
Zen & the Art of The Small Account-09-july-2010-excel.jpg  
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  #74 (permalink)
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First day on crude!

So I spent a ton of time over the weekend looking at crude.

Gotta say, I think I like it. I put it on my chart with my simplified entry/exit rules and looked at 30 days worth. Decided to trade it today.

Took a look at the average daily range and decided 20 ticks was a reasonable number of ticks to shoot for at first.

Results: first three trades were awesome. I made 90 ticks, 30 ticks at a time.

Then I got a little crossways regarding market direction....to be sure it was a tad choppy but I think I could have avoided it just staying with the trend.

Anyway, I decided to trade all day and take as many clear entries as I could.

Some of them ended up being reversals after being in a trade already. I have a firm no reversal rule. The trade failed. That does not mean a reversal is justified. Sometimes yes but in my book, that is rarely.

I also botched the stop placement on a couple of trades. Correct stop placement per my rules would have prevented unnecessary losses.

Finally, got market direction right, held the trade til it paid my full profit target, took my kid to swimming lessons and came back to trade in the lunch hour and into the close. That was a couple really slow hours. But I promised myself to finish the day out trading every entry.

I finished up $266 or so. Ninja says I am up $335 but I think the math function is busted. My spreadsheet says about $266 and that's what I am going with.

All in all, a great day. I have never made 90 ticks in one day.....maybe in a week.....

I'll finish the week out in CL, but only really trade my normal trading hours of 7AM to 9:30AM PST.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
Attached Thumbnails
Zen & the Art of The Small Account-12-july-2010-excel.jpg   Zen & the Art of The Small Account-12-july-chart.jpg  
 
  #75 (permalink)
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$125 shy of tripling my sim account! I switched to oil....thats not the reason for the large increase though....its the new system and my doing a much better job of obeying and executing rules. The system works on any instrument, just that CL makes things go so much faster!

The other thing is simply sitting on my hands after a trade is entered. This has contributed so much to the bottom line!

One other thing is the stop placement. I have seen the light. No more fixed stops. Yes I use one on the ATM I enter with, but I move the stop to the correct place and LEAVE IT THERE. Sorry for the yelling but I needed to make a point to myself again. Do not move that stop. If the premise of the trade changes mid trade, close the trade and start over, just don't move the stop. Every time I have done that, I have paid. Usually with profit left on the table.

Got a few more days til I take it live....would like to end the week without a losing day.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
Attached Thumbnails
Zen & the Art of The Small Account-13-july-2010-1st-chart.jpg   Zen & the Art of The Small Account-13-july-excel.jpg  

Last edited by PandaWarrior; July 13th, 2010 at 04:51 PM. Reason: 2nd chart did not show properly
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  #76 (permalink)
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Possible trouble

In looking at my trade stats, I notice that my average loser is larger than my average winner. Thats ok now because my win rate is higher than 50%.

I need to figure out how to reduce the size of the losers without screwing up the stop placement rules I have in place. Sometimes those stops are pretty big.

Idea: Hold more trades longer as long as the premise of the trade is still valid. I think that will work. I had one of those today.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
 
  #77 (permalink)
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Position sizing

Tomorrow I go back to 2 contracts instead of three. I forgot the margin for CL is $1000 per contract and so my sim trading has been in violation of the margin requirements. My sim account only has $2800 in it currently but NT gives $6000 of purchasing power.

Thats ok.....I'm good with two cars.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
 
  #78 (permalink)
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aztrader9 View Post
Tomorrow I go back to 2 contracts instead of three. I forgot the margin for CL is $1000 per contract and so my sim trading has been in violation of the margin requirements. My sim account only has $2800 in it currently but NT gives $6000 of purchasing power.

Thats ok.....I'm good with two cars.

Not moving your stops is the only way to get big targets. And it still takes guts, even on the sim.

For 2 contracts I have different strategies. The first contract is always a scalp which locks in profits and reduces the risk, often eliminating the risk entirely. +7, +11, or +19.

The 2nd contract depends on your strategy. But it still takes guts to hold it at break even or total target, which ever comes first. Just sit on hands, go outside, go eat, sleep. Just do anything that stops you from second guessing the price movement. Difficult with sim, even harder to do with cash. Hope it helps, I'm still practicing too and often doubt my big targets, close the position, only to see price go straight to my target without me.

Good to see your strategy growing. Look forward to seeing more awesome results.

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  #79 (permalink)
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I have conflicting thoughts on how to take profits.

1. If I believe in the trade, I'll just hold both contracts to the profit target or when the market tells me my trade is over. This maximizes profits when you hit your targets but leaves you exposed if all you get is a partial target and the trade reverses against you.

2. Take some profit off early. I actually think I may do this when I get to three contracts. Example, 3 contracts, 20 tick target. Take 1 contract off at 10 ticks, then move stop to BE-8. This still leaves some room for the trade or possible re-tests, but make the second 2 contracts totally BE other than commissions if a full 8 tick stop happens.

The down side here is that the trade originally had a stop that was in the correct place for the trade and that means the trade premise is over if that stop is hit. So if I move the stop down to BE-8 if the original stop was greater than that, then I have invalidated the trade premise I started with.

So that is the struggle. Currently, I am in the leave all contracts on all the way to the target and just exit the trade if the trade goes against you or if the premise of the trade is invalided due to market changes.

3. Enter the trade with a smaller position and instead of taking profit off as the trade progresses, add to it on the retraces and hold all positions to original target. This is the strategy I would like to eventually use but not right now. Don't have the $$$$$$$$$$$$ to do this.

I am getting better at holding til profit target. Practice makes perfect.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
 
  #80 (permalink)
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The small account is hard to trade, but it can be done. I started this experiment on June 1st with a commitment to be honest and transparent in how my experiment is going.

The first month ended basically flat. I was disappointed I did not earn more money but encouraged I was able to sustain it the entire month.

This month, I reset the sim account back to $1000 and started over. I made some changes to my chart, switched instruments and began to trust my system.

So far, I am up $2700 this month.

This is really incredible for me. First, I’ve never really had any consistency and second, I am stunned I have been able to produce the size of the wins I have over the last few days.

Part of me wants to say this is luck, but the part of me that I trust, says I got it right this time.

A few more days and I’ll take this live. I am opening a new brokerage account with a different broker in search of lower commissions, but before I do that, I have some legal work to do getting an LLC I own repurposed into a trading company. That will take a couple of weeks and then the new brokerage will want those documents so I need it all done before I really go live with it. SO it could be a two or three weeks before I can go live.

When I do, I’ll continue to update this thread with those live results.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to post my sim results.

Oh, one last thing, today, my average winners are now larger than my average losers! I count this as a major improvement.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


Most people chose unhappiness over uncertainty, Tim Ferris
Attached Thumbnails
Zen & the Art of The Small Account-14-july-2010-1st-chart.jpg   Zen & the Art of The Small Account-14-july-2010-excel.jpg   Zen & the Art of The Small Account-14-july-2010-nt-summary.jpg  

Last edited by PandaWarrior; July 15th, 2010 at 12:16 AM. Reason: Add last sentence
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