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Teajay's trading journal
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Teajay's trading journal

  #1 (permalink)
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Teajay's trading journal

Trading system involves looking for oversold conditions using slow stochastics on 1, 5 and 15 minute charts (or slight variations of that, say if the 1 and 5-minutes are oversold and 15 has turned up around the 50 mark).

Today's journal entry shows how to scare yourself out of good trades.

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Price was trending down, so when it was around 243.60 I placed a limit on the trendline at 243.50. Stop placed at 243.39. Figured an exit would be at around 243.80 - 243.90, basically where the overhead resistance would come into play, which would depend on how long it took to get there. So, risking .11 for .30-40...

Price quickly shoots up to 243.60, I'm happy and decide to stop staring at the computer for a few minutes since that normally increases likelihood I make a bad decision and break from plan. Come back a few minutes later and see I got stopped out. No big deal, kept risk in check and everything went according to plan...

Price quickly drops down to 243.20 range, and I notice this is a good support level. 243.17 has been hit a few times already today, so I place another limit buy there. Price only drops to 243.19 so I don't get filled, and I never bother to chase the trade... So cancel order and call it a day.

Hard to say if this was a mistake, because of the beauty of hindsight. My system would have triggered a new position - stochastics were still all very oversold and we bounced away from a good support level. Hindsight tells me I was a chicken, but had I got into another trade that went south I'd be beating myself up for trying to bottom fish...

Now, I'm still working to improve my stop placement, so I'm wondering if I should have raised the stop to the break-even point once the priced moved to 243.60?

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  #3 (permalink)
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In this instance of “Man, I suck at trading” we see how a lack of confidence can cause you to miss a good entrance, how getting married to an idea can cause problems, especially when you stop following your system and revenge trade. This was a pretty bad meltdown in terms of consistent errors made. I am writing about it as a way to review the mistakes and for accountability. In terms of impact on account balance, it was negligible - I was trading 100 units of SPY, so the damage was small despite the compounded errors. Just happy I wasn't doing this with ES or CL... :S

Yesterday SPY gaps open, and then does a nice drop back near the open. I like to monitor bounces like this and enter trades when a ‘V’ formation breaks back above the initial rally. In this case, that would have been an entry at 244.30 around 9:50am. I was distracted taking care of some family matters so missed my entry (should have been done via buy stop placed a couple pennies above the line anyway). A lack of confidence I’ve been experience these days kept me from jumping in at some point in the steady uphill climb to 245. Should have assumed the trend was intact and entered on any of the small pullbacks. Basic stuff...

Here's the chart, the horizontal line would have been an entry, and you can see all the nice retracements...

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The resistance off 245 as a major round number was expected. I built a hypothesis that the action between 11am - 12pm seen on the 5 minute chart was a small consolidation/accumulation before we would take off again toward 245. Buy limit order placed on the 3rd bounce of the channel line and gets filled at 244.60. Place a stop loss at 244.48, so risking 12 for ~40.

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Downward breakout of channel happens, stop gets hit, that’s ok… In hindsight, should have waited for the pattern breakout to form my opinion, think the nearby overhead resistance tempted me to enter the trade on the bottom of the formation. But here’s where a series of new mistakes begin.

1) I’m hung up on the fact that it was an upward trending day that had a strong gap open. Staying committed to my opinion and not willing to accept that the downward break\out may be indicative of a stronger correction. My mentality is strong in “find other buying opportunities"

2) Stopped following my system. It has me buying on oversold stochastics across multiple timeframes. These conditions are in fact true, however, I normally wait for the middle timeframe to start exiting oversold, which I don’t do here. Place another order at 244.50, and for reasons I can’t explain, fail to put in a stop. Things go sideways quickly as you can see in the 5-minute chart above and I finally bail out with a market order just below 244.00. That was just stupid.

3) Revenge trading / not willing to walk away - Convinced that things possibly can’t still be in a downtrend, I see a trend line on the 15 minute chart (below) that is about to be hit. Place another limit order on it that gets filled 243.40. Price blows below this line without even slowing down, so I exit at 243.30.

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Walk away (as you can see I didn't continue drawing the trendlines for the rest of the session)...

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  #4 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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teajay View Post
In this instance of “Man, I suck at trading” we see how a lack of confidence can cause you to miss a good entrance, how getting married to an idea can cause problems, especially when you stop following your system and revenge trade. This was a pretty bad meltdown in terms of consistent errors made. I am writing about it as a way to review the mistakes and for accountability. In terms of impact on account balance, it was negligible - I was trading 100 units of SPY, so the damage was small despite the compounded errors. Just happy I wasn't doing this with ES or CL... :S

...

No need for self-flagellation. Guess many of us believed in any indicator signals during the early stages of their trading (or still do ...)

The real cross-check what would happen with this kind of indicator(s) isn't the ES this time, which went home
barely changed.

Do yourself a favor and cross-check how your approach would have performed with QQQ (or NQ). Esp for
overbought/oversold indicators it's extremely important to learn when the regime changes from dabbling
ranges / mean-reverting zones to trending. Or to put it straight: The importance of the indicators and their
signals is minimal compared to market context / market regime.

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  #5 (permalink)
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choke35 View Post
No need for self-flagellation. Guess many of us believed in any indicator signals during the early stages of their trading (or still do ...)

The real cross-check what would happen with this kind of indicator(s) isn't the ES this time, which went home
barely changed.

Do yourself a favor and cross-check how your approach would have performed with QQQ (or NQ). Esp for
overbought/oversold indicators it's extremely important to learn when the regime changes from dabbling
ranges / mean-reverting zones to trending. Or to put it straight: The importance of the indicators and their
signals is minimal compared to market context / market regime.

Hello Choke - I want to thank you for taking the time to read my journal and comment. Much appreciated, it really seems like a great community here. You point out that I may have been too hard on myself - I normally find it to be a good way of ensuring humility

The market context / regime point is very well taken. This was one of those situations where I think I was trying to force a trade without keeping my eyes open to the very clear message the market was providing. Indicators are certainly not the ba-all-end-all, as much as I may wish they could be...

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  #6 (permalink)
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SPY has been gapping open lower the past couple days, so generally bullish after refusing to cross over the 245 mark recently. This morning's price action was in a downtrend that had hit a resistance line a few times by 11am EST.
The 5 minute stochastics just made it out of oversold before turning back downward. The 1-min stochastics were overbought and turning down, so I placed a market order and got a fill at 241.80 @ 8:02. Placed a stop at 242.02 to be above the trendline and the round number. Stop got hit at 8:19.

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I tried one other quick trade off what was looking like another overhead resistance point at 242.20. Tight stop, which got hit and then I walked away for the day to make sure I didn't start revenge trading like one session last week.

We'll see what next week brings...

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6/19

Two trades to write about from yesterday...

The first is with ES...
After a big rally to bounce of 2450 and a slight retracement I was looking for an entry. Took the convergence of two SMAs after bouncing off a fib level as an entry. Set a pretty tight stop at 2445, figuring if we were going to bounce down to the 50% retracement I would look for another entry there. Stop was hit, and we never got down to the 50% retracement so I just didn't bother getting back in (had also stepped away from computer for lunch after order was placed)...

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The second was with NQ - I don't often trade this, but felt like it had a lot of movement yesterday...

Looked like a loose descending triangle, so bought on close below it, stop placed just above trendline... Turned out it was a bit of a false breakout - Stop was hit, and this was my two-trade-per-day limit so i didn't reverse my position to go long after it broke out above.

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6/20 ES

One trade to log for today, and a very textbook play at that.

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There was a symmetric triangle forming on the 5-minute charts today. Was preparing for a breakout in either direction. Knew I would be able to get a max 3pt stop placed on the trade so fit well within my risk tolerance. Sure enough, broke out below... At the time the 1-minute stochastics were really oversold so decided to wait for a bit of a pullback. That happened and I went short at 2443 and placed stop at 2445.25 (above triangle and SMAs). Exited at 2440.25 for a reasonably quick 2.75pts.

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6/22 - NQ

Only one trade to log for today as well...

Downward sloping channel really visible on the 15-minute charts. Looking at the 5-minute charts there was a nice symmetric triangle forming after bouncing off the top channel line.

Downward breakout occurs, as I had been anticipating… Waited for a slight pullback, and then placed a limit order after retesting the trend line and heading back down. Ended up with a fill at 5787.75, and placed stop at 5795 - above the pattern, and within my $150 risk threshold.

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Trade never really turned in my favor for long, just hung around there… Checked out the 1-minute charts and saw that we were really trading in a pretty tight range.

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Had I listened to the market signals, I would have probably tightened up my stop to ~5793, assuming that an upward breakout of the range on 1-minute chart would mean we were going higher generally, and by this time 5793, or at least 5794 was above the original top channel line given it’s slope…

Stop was eventually hit and I called it a day to head to the beach for a couple hours…

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6-26 ES and NQ


Two trades to write about from yesterday's session... One for ES, and the other for NQ which I've been enjoying lately due to a bit more action it seems...

NQ
While this trade was for a loss of 0.75pts I felt really good about how it worked out. The setup was looking good - nice uptrend bouncing off an SMA. Stochastics turning back up around the 50 line. Got a market fill @ 5796.75, placed a stop just below the last low of 5790. After placing the trade price just sort of hung around in a tight range for 35 minutes, during which time it failed to break out above 5800 twice. I'm trying to work on getting out of trades that don't work as expected reasonably quickly. Combine that with the difficulty to break above 5800 and by now the stochastics were turning down so I thought I would just get out for a very small loss and look for re-entry if action picked up. Well, lucky for me, right after selling price turned down quickly so I would have been stopped out anyway.

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ES
This had a nice pattern forming on the 5-minute chart that was a combination of both a H&S and descending triangle. These bearish patterns were roughly in line with the context we just saw in NQ... Placed a limit sell order to go short @ 2437.75 before the downward breakout. Conservative target of 2435.50 based on height of pattern, with a stop above the pattern at 2440.25. There is an error here in terms of the risk/reward ratio as I review the trade... I could have placed a tighter order, perhaps 2438, and a tighter stop, say 2439.75. Alternatively, I could have just passed altogether.

Once the trade was entered there was a pullback to the bottom of the chart pattern - This didn't worry me too much. It did bounce around the 2438 range for a while and I was eventually stopped out. Price reached a high of 2440.50 before breaking back down below the pattern and continuing downward for the rest of the session, closing a few points below my price target. Ahhh well.
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