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Mindful and Day Trading


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Mindful and Day Trading

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  #1 (permalink)
 zmaj 
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Mindful and day trading journal.
I have learned the price action technical approach from my older brother who has been in the business since 2001.
He does very well for himself and has been my inspiration to also do well.
I can say that i'm really proud of how far i have made it considering it has only been a couple of years since this journey started.

My problem is absolutely mental. Trading is about execution. And i'm shit at execution.
Being mindful and analyze the chart i'm good at, but being mindful and execute the trade plan, i'm completely useless.
Thankfully i have a very patiently supportive sibling who understands the pains of a wanna be newbie.

To know the market i need to know myself. One moment at a time, one day at a time. The more i follow my rules the more i will learn to trust myself.
I do structure my life so everything would stay the same, and the market has no structure only unlimited possibilities. And that is the main issue here.
Therefore the market is the perfect mirror of my own attitude. I have never been in an environment where there exist such things as unlimited possibilities.
And my attitude reflects that. I freeze whenever i see the potential. The question is: What do i want ? And i have no reply. At least not yet.
I must work on learning to control my perception of the market. In order to attain a higher degree of objectivity and to interact with it properly.

My trading approach is technical price action. Observing the weekly and the daily OHLC levels.
If the price is not moving higher then yesterday high then it will be moving lower and vice versa.
I'm tracking for the buy or the sell signals around the prior weekly or daily Highs or Lows.
The weekly and daily charts are the main bias points and 180m 60m 30m and 10m are used for stops, entries and targets.
The funded account is $12K i will trade 1 to 3 lots depending on the set ups.

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  #3 (permalink)
 zmaj 
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ES

I had the ES on the charts today. The plan was to find a sell trigger.
The price rallied @ OPEN to retest yesterday's high level and there was a very nice divergence showing sell.
I did not take the trade. I was playing a frozen Popsicle instead. Everything inside me turned upside down.
Talk to my brother after. We were both happy that i did my homework properly. The only happiness of the day for me.
The ES did end up doing what the analysis suggested.

Incredible how an emotion of FEAR limits the range of my perceived opportunities and responses by narrowing the focus of my attention.
Fear really just wants me to stay in fear and keep feeding it.

Mark Douglas in his books talks about being frozen and having a tunnel vision. It's quite an experience!
Off to do my meditations again. And get ready for day 2 tomorrow. (to play the frozen popsicle again i imagine)

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  #4 (permalink)
 zmaj 
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Was observing ES, CL and GC today and did not take any trades.
Played the frozen Popsicle again today instead.
I adopted new mental principles and points to help solve my issues.

My 4 Market principles

1. every moment is unique
2. anything can happen
3. i don't need to know what is going to happen next to make money
4. there is a random distribution between the wins and losses on any given set of variables that define my edge

My 7 Points of consistency in my mental environment

1. i am a consistently successful trader because i objectively define my edge
2. i predefine my risk on every trade
3. i completely accept that risk and i am willing to let go of that trade
4. i act upon my edge without reservation or hesitation
5. i pay myself as the market makes the money available to me
6. i continue to monitor my susceptibility of making errors
7. i understand the absolute necessity of these principles of consistent success and will therefore never violate them

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 Grantx 
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Hey zmaj. These are good observations, almost a snapshot of some of the stuff Ive been through.

''Being mindful and analyze the chart i'm good at, but being mindful and execute the trade plan, i'm completely useless.''

Mindfulness can be useful but you have to learn when to switch if off. This sounds counter intuitive but think about this:
How do you stir muddy water until it becomes clear? You cant because your stirring keeps circulating the muddy particulate around. If you just leave the water alone, the mud will settle by itself and you will be left with nice clear water. That mud is still there but you are not agitating it.
Muddy water is your mind. Stirring is your thoughts. You cannot think yourself into a state of less thinking.
What is your natural response when a trade is slowly grinding against you? Mind goes retard and starts doing the only thing it knows to do in this situation - more analysis, more thinking, more scenarios... but its a trap. Thats why we balk out of perfectly good trade opportunities because mind is trying to think its way out of the mess. What was your ally becomes your enemy.

And the reason its all so damn difficult is because we are not trading the market but our beliefs, wishes and desires.

If i might just highlight something else I noticed, if you are adamant about mindfulness mantras and such things then try using more positive phrases. You have a lot of negativity masquerading as good intent but overall it will keep you suppressed. Remove words like risk, hesitation, susceptibility, violate, error, reservation.

Keep up the insightful posts.

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  #6 (permalink)
 zmaj 
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Observing the CL, ES and GC.
Had a set up long on all three instruments around 8am.
Froze on taking the CL. The ES became a daze. The GC was in focus. I kept repeating my 4 mantras
1. anything can happen
2. every moment is unique
3. i don't need to know what is going to happen next to make money
4. there is a random distribution between the wins and losses on any given set of variables that define an edge

4 attempts to go long on GC
Set up was on the 30m chart / the trigger was on 10m

First trade was stopped out as my entry was protected +3
Second trade was a loss -4
Third trade was a loss -1
Fourth trade was a win +21

Mentally i held myself together well throughout the 4 trades, except that on the forth trade, once i was in the profit, i lost my objectivity and bailed out @ +21
Even though my target was + 40 ticks away. And the price did reach that +40 target

I understand, that i must keep my 4 mantra points going.
When i started, i was focused on the process, and towards the middle i lost my objectivity completely.
Instead of keeping my mind on the process of trading i started thinking about the outcome of trading.

notes to myself: i am committed to take the same set up for the next 20 times when the set up shows up
I believe the consistency of my edge will show up by the time i reach 20 sample trades, and help me establish a good mental base

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  #7 (permalink)
 zmaj 
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Grantx View Post
Hey zmaj. These are good observations, almost a snapshot of some of the stuff Ive been through.

''Being mindful and analyze the chart i'm good at, but being mindful and execute the trade plan, i'm completely useless.''

Mindfulness can be useful but you have to learn when to switch if off. This sounds counter intuitive but think about this:
How do you stir muddy water until it becomes clear? You cant because your stirring keeps circulating the muddy particulate around. If you just leave the water alone, the mud will settle by itself and you will be left with nice clear water. That mud is still there but you are not agitating it.
Muddy water is your mind. Stirring is your thoughts. You cannot think yourself into a state of less thinking.
What is your natural response when a trade is slowly grinding against you? Mind goes retard and starts doing the only thing it knows to do in this situation - more analysis, more thinking, more scenarios... but its a trap. Thats why we balk out of perfectly good trade opportunities because mind is trying to think its way out of the mess. What was your ally becomes your enemy.

And the reason its all so damn difficult is because we are not trading the market but our beliefs, wishes and desires.

If i might just highlight something else I noticed, if you are adamant about mindfulness mantras and such things then try using more positive phrases. You have a lot of negativity masquerading as good intent but overall it will keep you suppressed. Remove words like risk, hesitation, susceptibility, violate, error, reservation.

Keep up the insightful posts.

Thank you for your thoughts and suggestions GrantX.
I agree 110%
We trade our beliefs, wishes and desires. We trade the outcome as oppose to be mindful of the process.
That's why i see mindfulness as simply being aware of the process.
Understanding myself, i know that i'm unable to turn my emotions off,
but ever so slightly i am able to do the next best thing and keep my mind on the actual process of day trading.

I surf and ride motorcycles and i use the same "focus on the process" methodology every day.
Surfing i think of the process of surfing, on what i have to do, not on falling off the board and hurting myself.
Even though that is a part of the process.
Also riding a motorcycle. I'm focused on the movement not thinking about actually falling off the bike.
Even though that is also a part of the process. And why i wear the protective gears. My "stop loss".
Why day trading business is so fascinating to me, my mind just does not shut up.
A constant chatter upstairs about the outcome of each trade as oppose to the process of trading.

Thank you again!

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 xplorer 
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zmaj View Post
notes to myself: i am committed to take the same set up for the next 20 times when the set up shows up
I believe the consistency of my edge will show up by the time i reach 20 sample trades, and help me establish a good mental base

Hi zmaj

What is the expectancy of your setup? Either theoretical or actual.

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  #9 (permalink)
 zmaj 
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xplorer View Post
Hi zmaj

What is the expectancy of your setup? Either theoretical or actual.

The set up (edge) shows up every day. Either Globex or RTH

64% positive expectancy based on 90 days of data sampling.
Ninja Market Replay

My brother's numbers are much higher on this.
But also he has been at it much longer then me

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 xplorer 
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zmaj View Post
The set up (edge) shows up every day. Either Globex or RTH

64% positive expectancy based on 90 days of data sampling.
Ninja Market Replay

My brother's numbers are much higher on this.
But also he has been at it much longer then me

Thanks zmaj - expectancy should be measured in ticks or currency - are you perhaps thinking win % rate?

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  #11 (permalink)
 zmaj 
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xplorer View Post
Thanks zmaj - expectancy should be measured in ticks or currency - are you perhaps thinking win % rate?

Yes, positive % rate
I don't measure it in ticks or currency since the size of each candle is different
The set up is the same though. And ticks or currency to me is the byproduct of a good set up

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 zmaj 
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I was observing CL, ES and 6B.
My set up showed up once on all three instruments before 11am.
I did not execute. Mind started wondering places and i missed an entry, all three times.

On the first one, i let the fear slip past the mind gate and i did not take the trade.
On the 2nd one, i was on the phone with my brother and my laziness found an excuse not to take the trade.
On the 3rd one, i was thinking about the first two missed opportunities and was mind bashing myself. And did not take the trade.
3 for 3

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 zmaj 
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Can i be in the market place without using fear to limit my behavior?
The reason i fear the market is because i'm not able to trust myself.
Yet, in many other endeavors i feel that i fully trust and understand myself.

I understand about two types of pain: 1. physical pain 2. emotional pain (information based)
I grew up learning in a very painful ways what it means to be wrong.
And have experienced the pain on both counts.
A losing trade taps me into the past. Into every time that i have been wrong in my life.
Fear then narrows my attention span and i end up creating the very same experience in the market place that i am attempting so desperately to avoid.
Therefore every trading attempt ends up being more then just about trading.
It ends up being about my life and my beliefs.

I refuse to continue doing this. Living my life as this. This is not me anymore. I'm ready to move on forward with my life.
I intend to stop projecting my fears into the market place.
I am accepting and embracing the risk of trading in the market place.
I am predefining the risk of every trade,
I accept the risk and I will continually reconcile the reality of the market place,
I am embracing and accepting the risk the risk of trading in the market place.

I accept and embrace being wrong
I accept and embrace losing money
I accept and embrace leaving money on the table
I accept and embrace missing out on a trade

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 zmaj 
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Was observing YM and CL.
Fought the trend day, and was questioning and not taking my signals that i should have.
Also i did not prepare yesterday. I did not do my homework.
8 trades today / 8 trades too many
The positive today is that i stopped executing myself into a deeper hole.
(Internet connection was bad today. Ninja platform kept disconnecting.)

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 zmaj 
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Observing the CL and ES.
2 sell signals today, did take both signals, my follow through was not good.

CL entry was very good. I was very collected. I did notice the fear motion creeping in the background of my mind.
Fear made me move the 1st target closer to my entry even though the first target was reached regardless.
Price stopped me out on a pullback. I should have placed my protective stop loss a bit closer to my entry.
But i became scared for no apparent reason, became my own worst enemy. didn't trust myself.
CL price continued lower.

ES entry short was very good. I was calm. A few seconds later fear motion also moved in and took over.
First target was reached. And i never gave price a chance, i covered the 2nd contract right away.
Became my own worst enemy. Didn't trust myself.
ES price continued lower.

I will take what the market gave me today and will be learning from it.

I really must follow my rules. it is the only way for me to learn to trust myself
I really must follow my rules. it is the only way for me to learn to trust myself
I really must follow my rules. it is the only way for me to learn to trust myself
I really must follow my rules. it is the only way for me to learn to trust myself
I really must follow my rules. it is the only way for me to learn to trust myself
I really must follow my rules. it is the only way for me to learn to trust myself
I really must follow my rules. it is the only way for me to learn to trust myself
I really must follow my rules. it is the only way for me to learn to trust myself
I really must follow my rules. it is the only way for me to learn to trust myself
I really must follow my rules. it is the only way for me to learn to trust myself

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 Grantx 
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Care to post a few charts? Are you still using harmonic patterns?

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  #17 (permalink)
 zmaj 
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Grantx View Post
Care to post a few charts? Are you still using harmonic patterns?

Yes, the harmonics patterns i still use. I will post the charts later later later.
I must get my head around my psychology first.

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  #18 (permalink)
 zmaj 
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Was observing the CL and ES.
Right away, the ES signal to buy happened that i didn't take.
I was upset for not taking it. And i made a conscious effort to focus and play my game.

CL had good sell signals right before the OPEN. I did take them.
It was a fight today. The CL chopped around a bit. The price did go down and by then i already had more then 10 trades.
I decided to call it a day after the last trade once i made back the negative.
I also think that was just an excuse that i told myself since there was another divergence sell signal @ 62.46 that i didn't take.
That ended up being the best move down. The one that i initially thought was going go happen earlier.

I must stop feeding myself expectations. The market has no structure unless i create that structure.
The market only has unlimited possibilities.
I also did use an old breathing technique that my brother suggested. 4 sec. inhale / 6 sec. exhale
It helped me calm down in the middle of the struggle. It worked very well.

A scratch day today 11 trades all together.
The trade summary is not showing the results of my last trade but my account is.

The best positive of today to take with me is:
Once i made up my mind to engage with the CL, I did follow my campaign rules of engagement. A very proud moment for me.
Because of that my transition from an analyst to a proper trader, i think, has officially started today!

I must keep following my rules. it is the only way for me to learn to trust myself.

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farmer55
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I'm sorry but I have to reply. Your problem is not mental or trusting yourself(what ever that means). The one and only one problem you have is: You really do not have a profitable way of trading. So be honest. If what ever way you were trading was truly profitable, the only thing you would be doing is--- see trade, take trade. All that other stuff is garbage. Harsh? Maybe.

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 zmaj 
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farmer55 View Post
I'm sorry but I have to reply. Your problem is not mental or trusting yourself(what ever that means). The one and only one problem you have is: You really do not have a profitable way of trading. So be honest. If what ever way you were trading was truly profitable, the only thing you would be doing is--- see trade, take trade. All that other stuff is garbage. Harsh? Maybe.


ok, thank you!

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 mastercraft29 
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zmaj View Post
ok, thank you!

Hey man - I have been through most of what you are going through. And i can tell you are a Mark Douglas fan, so am I. If you havent read it already, check out Trade Mindfully by Gary Dayton. It builds on Douglas and is a good read and helpful to trading mindfully. Way of the Warrior Trader is also a good read in the psychology area.

I have not looked at your setups or entries so maybe he is right, but i have to disagree with farmer55. Trading is entirely a mental game. I do agree with the "see trade, take trade" but it is very hard to get there without understanding yourself first. Not to mention the other variables (stop, target, exit?, hold?). To say "all this other stuff is garbage" shows he must not understand it himself, or he would praise the idea of trading mindfully.


But based on what i have read in your thread, i think these few things might help you.

*decrease your position and trade the "i dont care" size. if you are SIM trading, switch to real money in a forex market with a small position (or if you have deep pockets maybe ETF's like SPY / SDS).

*focus on one market, one time frame

*determine your trading style (always in, swing, or scalper) (Or if you are like me, whatever the market is currently offering in terms of opportunity, but i suggest sticking with one. Atleast try each one for a few weeks at a time until you have a good understanding of which you are good at / not so good at and go from there).

*Most important of all..... Get off these forums. You will not find what you are missing here and you are wasting your time. No one can tell you the "secret". You must discover it inside of yourself. All you are doing here is feeding, inflating, and deflating your ego which contradicts the goal of trading mindfully. I know this from personal experience (see my post history). Now i rarely post unless i see something interesting which i can relate to (like this thread). Sorry to those who disagree, but I feel it is the truth.


And remember, there is a reason why most people fail at trading. It is very hard, and you have to overcome yourself and evolutionary "flaws" which prevent good trading. It takes a long time, so dont be so hard on yourself. Acknowledge your mistakes and move on. Never look back. Just look forward to the next trade (mental parking).

BTW, I am also a price action trader (Al brooks).

Good luck on your journey,
Josh

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 Mightynorsman 
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It's funny to me that there's a debate about what's more important Psychology or Trade mechanics. They are two sides of the same coin. I agree with farmer that you have to have a profitable way of trading to achieve success but you also have to have a grasp on your own thoughts so that you don't mess that profitable way up with fear or greed.

Understanding your own psychology and why you do what you do IMHO is just as important to trade execution as have a good plan. If you have a good plan and are executing it well . . . Bravo! Don't fix what aint broken. If you believe you have a good plan but can't consistently execute it . . . understanding your psychology and then building good habits to correct it, is the way to success.

Wishing you good success in your journey towards profitable trading.
Mighty

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 Grantx 
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Some people are fortunate in that the mental aspect of trading is a little speed bump to get over. For me the technical is easy peasy but the mental side is absolutely brutal. One thing I found difficult to deal with was knowing that I was just the same as every other wannaby trader. When I started I thought I was unique and different and a little bit special from the rest of the herd but soon realised the harsh bright truth of that little illusion.

There comes a point though when you have to pull your socks up and get out of the victim mentality because in a perverse way, focusing on overcoming the mental hardship only reinforces its strength and power.

Everyone here has good comments. From my side I just want to say that I know what youre going through and how difficult it is.

Good luck zmaj.

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 zmaj 
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@farmer55 @mastercraft29 @Mightynorsman @Grantx


Thank you all for your comments.
Yes i'm am absolutely Mark Douglas fan. His work on the subject has changed and is changing my perspective.
My trading set ups are good, i just need to learn to make the commitment. I must create a "trading the set up" habit.
This little trading journal on this forum is simply about my transition. From an analyst to a trader.

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 cory 
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zmaj View Post
..

I really must follow my rules...

I don't think you can follow the rules all at once. Train yourself to master one rule at a time then move on to the next one. That is why it take such a long time to master all the rules.

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 Linds 
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You seem confident that you have a proven technical edge.
How do you know you have an actual edge?
Is this objectively proven or could there be various confirmation biases in there?
Prior to actually having a technical edge the goal of sorting out the psychological side of trading is a bit like chasing a black cat in a dark room.

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 zmaj 
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Linds View Post
You seem confident that you have a proven technical edge.
How do you know you have an actual edge?
Is this objectively proven or could there be various confirmation biases in there?
Prior to actually having a technical edge the goal of sorting out the psychological side of trading is a bit like chasing a black cat in a dark room.

Mark Douglas talked about finding and understanding the set up by tracking it for 20 times or more.
And finding out how the set up performs over that period.
I have objectively done that already multiple times. On multiple instruments.
The set up performs very well over the period of 20 times or more.
The reason i'm having a problem is because i expect an individual trade to work. As oppose to a series of trades.


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 Linds 
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Ok if the edge is certainly there...and 20 visually based back tests is not sufficient...but 100 might be IF there is no hidden cognitive biases in there.......

.....then you are in the realm of taming the monkey within....

Can take awhile.

I like many of your affirmations. Might apply some to my monkey.

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 Linds 
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Just a question
If the edge is mathematically there
Why is it there?
It is very helpful to not only know it exists but to know why it does .....this can help the confidence a lot.

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 LukePoga 
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how is your comfort level?

imagine that you were trading your setup at 50c at a time.
imagine you are trading 1 lot at a time with $1,000,000,000 billion in your account.
imagine you are at a casino betting your home on a coin flip.

you want to sit somewhere in the middle where your risk of ruin is comfortable.

traders sometimes think its their emotions that are the problem, when really you should listen to your emotions. instincts are right. if you have fear you are not trading sustainably.

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 zmaj 
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Linds View Post
Just a question
If the edge is mathematically there
Why is it there?
It is very helpful to not only know it exists but to know why it does .....this can help the confidence a lot.

As i have recognized it so far, the market place is random price movement, until i as an observer, recognize a pattern.
The beauty is in the eye of beholder moment.
Then i consequently track the same price behavior over the period of time. The same price pattern.
And i test it and i test it again and again till it becomes my edge.

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 zmaj 
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LukePoga View Post
how is your comfort level?

imagine that you were trading your setup at 50c at a time.
imagine you are trading 1 lot at a time with $1,000,000,000 billion in your account.
imagine you are at a casino betting your home on a coin flip.

you want to sit somewhere in the middle where your risk of ruin is comfortable.

traders sometimes think its their emotions that are the problem, when really you should listen to your emotions. instincts are right. if you have fear you are not trading sustainably.

Thats the struggle, comfort level analyzing it, is very good.
The comfort level executing it is something completely different.
In my mind i live and i die by each individual trade. as oppose to a series of trades.

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 zmaj 
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Day 7 i had profits, i ended up giving it all away + some more.
Account was down to 11.7K
I was mad at myself for missing a lot of signals and ended up revenge trading my way from 12.3 down to 11,7

Days 8 and 9 i reconvened. Small baby steps.
I planned my trades and i followed the plan.
Still with fear in the bones. But i made it through.
I only recorded the day 9 trades on GC.
8 attempts at a long, the last one worked nicely to erase the prior 7 failed ones.
The strength is in the numbers, as Mark Douglas says in the series of trades. Not an individual trade.

All change is a function of desire. And i do have desire and tremendous love and respect about trading!

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 zmaj 
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For today i was observing the YM, Monday possible bearish day.
The set up showed up on a weekly chart.

1st trade, 1 contract. scratch.

2nd trade, two contracts
Entry short 25481
1st emotional target was +3
Entry is protected
edit: Didn't trail it properly, stopped out +3

3rd trade, two contracts
Entry short 25475
1st emotional target filled @ +3
2nd contract out @ +23

I made up my mind now with absolute sincerity to enjoy the process of trading

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 Grantx 
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Linds View Post
Just a question
If the edge is mathematically there
Why is it there?
It is very helpful to not only know it exists but to know why it does .....this can help the confidence a lot.

What do you mean 'Why is it there?'
Are you saying that we can disguise and package bias in the form of objective data?

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 Linds 
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Grantx View Post
What do you mean 'Why is it there?'
Are you saying that we can disguise and package bias in the form of objective data?

No - not really sure what that means actually - I am saying that a trader is more likely to believe in their edge if there is a logical market based rationale for it to exist.

In this case he seems to be define his edge around price movement at levels that he thinks are significant to the market. Why are they significant? What can we assume happens in terms of order flow/support/resistance when price approaches these levels - is there a rationale for the entry and the trade management based on these things..or is it simply observed movements and attemtps to systematize trading the movements without a market rationale?

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 Grantx 
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Linds View Post
No - not really sure what that means actually - I am saying that a trader is more likely to believe in their edge if there is a logical market based rationale for it to exist.

In this case he seems to be define his edge around price movement at levels that he thinks are significant to the market. Why are they significant? What can we assume happens in terms of order flow/support/resistance when price approaches these levels - is there a rationale for the entry and the trade management based on these things..or is it simply observed movements and attemtps to systematize trading the movements without a market rationale?

You are talking about subjective interpretation which I dont think relates to harmonic patterns.
Pattern traders put more emphasis on trading off of certain configurations without asking why the thing exists. Its easier to compile win/loss/expectancy trading stats with this kind of data because there is not much data. Its a bat, butterfly, crab or whatever. No reasons it just is.

When you introduce objective interpretation it complicates trading statistics immensely. How do you quantify all the possibilities that your mind is processing? Its impossible (Im happy to be proven wrong here). And I agree with you there is always a why and a where and a how to be asked.

Thats the analysis part of trading which requires effort, and who really wants to put effort into something when you can take a shortcut and trade patterns instead. Thats why this game is so mental and why it is imperative for every trader to understand the underlying reasons why we think the way we do . Heuristic shortcuts are very bad mental habits for traders. This is an interesting read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heuristics_in_judgment_and_decision-making

Sun Tzu:
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

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 bobarian 
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Grantx View Post
You are talking about subjective interpretation which I dont think relates to harmonic patterns.
Pattern traders put more emphasis on trading off of certain configurations without asking why the thing exists. Its easier to compile win/loss/expectancy trading stats with this kind of data because there is not much data. Its a bat, butterfly, crab or whatever. No reasons it just is.

When you introduce objective interpretation it complicates trading statistics immensely. How do you quantify all the possibilities that your mind is processing? Its impossible (Im happy to be proven wrong here). And I agree with you there is always a why and a where and a how to be asked.

Thats the analysis part of trading which requires effort, and who really wants to put effort into something when you can take a shortcut and trade patterns instead. Thats why this game is so mental and why it is imperative for every trader to understand the underlying reasons why we think the way we do . Heuristic shortcuts are very bad mental habits for traders. This is an interesting read: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heuristics_in_judgment_and_decision-making

Sun Tzu:
“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Ive been reading along quietly for the past few weeks.My house is torn apart ,doing a renovation.My trading computer isnt even plugged in.Imagine, im missing this.Its been a very "mindful" time.I see the contribution on MLMs thread.I wanted toss this out there, to some of you who have been active posters.We are talking about edge, and what gives a trader a legitamate chance to make a days pay.I have tried every timeframe/chart /indicator out there i feel.I would often think,if i can just get good entries, then i would have a chance to make a little$,and exit if price action wasnt panning out.This led me to quick time frames.I used the 1 min, i tried MLMs renko,and a few others.What i noticed was i was getting caught up in the noise, and, death by a thousand cuts.I love MLMs journal in the beginning.Not because he was very successful(although that was definately exciting!)but because he had a very specific execution style .He had a written plan.All he had to do was execute.You see he takes his stops, and just proceeds to the next trade...sometimes reversing, which is the ultimate mark of someone who has confidence in his method.I feel that if all traders wrote their playbook down, and executed their #1 play, patiently, that might help.Especially in the beginning.There will always be traders who can read price action well.I envy them.For the sake of preserving ones confidence, and sanity, i absolutely believe you should identify 1 trade that you are happy with, and stick with that.Atleast in the beginning.Boring? yes...and rightfully so......One last thing MLM used discretion even at the beginning of his journal.That is a big factor.We all know the difficulties of trading too much, and getting sliced and diced.IMO, seeing other traders make $ is inspiring.It tells me it can be done.Just look a t Grutpierres journal.Hes in the trenches every day, fighting it out.Grantx,Racer, Explorer, scalping trader,Flying monkey and many others are in thefight sticking their chin out and taking their lumps.Trade the plan inspired me (Grantx as well) to look at the currency spreads, and get back to live after many years of sim.So, thank you everyone who is posting ,cant wait to get back in!
Bobby

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 zmaj 
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Linds View Post
No - not really sure what that means actually - I am saying that a trader is more likely to believe in their edge if there is a logical market based rationale for it to exist.

In this case he seems to be define his edge around price movement at levels that he thinks are significant to the market. Why are they significant? What can we assume happens in terms of order flow/support/resistance when price approaches these levels - is there a rationale for the entry and the trade management based on these things..or is it simply observed movements and attemtps to systematize trading the movements without a market rationale?

Patterns are patterns Linds. And are noticeable on most price chart.
A large segment of traders do use them profitably. Execution is the key!

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 zmaj 
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I was observing the YM today again.
Bears in control today also. Attempted 8 times at the set up. 8th time the charm.
Day 11 covering the idiocy of day 10!

Yesterday day 10, toward the end of trading day i became the village idiot again.
I did not trade my set up. Stupid is as stupid does.
The day was green but after 65 trades total, it was red and my broker was a happier chump.
I must follow my rules. The more i follow my rules the more i will trust myself!!

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 zmaj 
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Was observing the CL today.
My set up did not show up today.
Attempted another set up, it did not work out as planned.
Attempted a multiple of times. The price did not budge.
A Scratch day today.

Emotionally i felt a bit better. Still nervous ticking in the stomach, but it did feel a bit better.
I followed my risk management rules

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 zmaj 
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Was observing the NQ, CL and 6E
My set up did not show up.
And i also started the day with the hesitation on the CL.
Hesitation came because i was not prepared today.
Was playing another B level set up.
Didn't do so well. because i started watching my PnL and became the PnL trader.
I started thinking about the outcome of each trade. What a head game that is!
The broker will be happy again today Over-trading to the Maximum!!

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 zmaj 
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LOL

This little public humility journal is the best thing i have ever done.
There is no control of my lunacy, i am embracing this moment.

Was observing the HG, GC, and CL. Naturally, it did not dawn on me to check the May contract for the CL. (1st mistake)
I was talking to my brother about the GC having a possible harmonic pattern.
And the whole trading day after our conversation was done i was attempting to find that harmonic by an overwhelming number of times.
All together i think i had my personal best record of contracts pushing through a single day: 136!
My trading commission alone today is $544 minus my attempts to catch that harmonic pattern.
And naturally after i did catch it, i ran away from a +40 move that i was in on with two lots that would have brought me back from the mental oblivion.
The market is my school. And the tuition fee varies, lol!

My set up did show up on the CL today, but i did not see it since i was on April contract.
The CL did bring a good last trade of the day.
It was a B level set up, for a +20 ticks on a single to ease quietly this monumental day of over trading.
I wish i played an extra lot on that trade, + would have + could have + should have!
And to think i was over trading yesterday as well. I ought to be re-reading this journal before i start each day.

All together i feel ok. Maybe what i did is not hitting me yet.
Today is the worst day and the best day in my journey attempting to move from an analyst to a trader.

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MarkB
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It seems like your struggling with some conflicting psychologies... but I'll leave that alone. Instead, an observation:

If you're a systems trader (or pattern trader, as you've suggested), and your system has a proven mathematical edge, then you have to let the law of large numbers work for you by taking every signal that your system generates, and each trade has to play out accordingly. Reading through your journal, it is almost looks like you're sabotaging your system with discretionary overrides (not taking signals, moving stops, taking off wins, not letting the trade mature, etc.).

I don't know what platform your using or whether your stop/profit criteria is always the same, but if so, you might benefit from bracketing your order before you ever press execute. Then just let the trade mature, for better or worse.

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 bobwest 
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MarkB View Post
If you're a systems trader (or pattern trader, as you've suggested), and your system has a proven mathematical edge, then you have to let the law of large numbers work for you by taking every signal that your system generates, and each trade has to play out accordingly. Reading through your journal, it is almost looks like you're sabotaging your system with discretionary overrides (not taking signals, moving stops, taking off wins, not letting the trade mature, etc.).

And yet, it's still hard to do.

I think that mastering the psychological issues of trading (being at risk, making money, losing money, not knowing what the hell will happen next, etc. ) are what most of us struggle with.

I suspect that, if given a foolproof system, most traders would still not be able to exactly follow it. This seems to be the challenge, more than anything of a technical or systems nature.

Bob.

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 zmaj 
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MarkB View Post
It seems like your struggling with some conflicting psychologies... but I'll leave that alone. Instead, an observation:

If you're a systems trader (or pattern trader, as you've suggested), and your system has a proven mathematical edge, then you have to let the law of large numbers work for you by taking every signal that your system generates, and each trade has to play out accordingly. Reading through your journal, it is almost looks like you're sabotaging your system with discretionary overrides (not taking signals, moving stops, taking off wins, not letting the trade mature, etc.).

I don't know what platform your using or whether your stop/profit criteria is always the same, but if so, you might benefit from bracketing your order before you ever press execute. Then just let the trade mature, for better or worse.

Thank you MarkB, An absolute truth. And well said!
Yes. I am sabotaging everything with discretionary overrides.
It's on my not to do list for the next week.
Playing the game on the ninja 7. Stop loss is about the same every time. Targets vary.

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 zmaj 
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Day 14 idiocy moved the account below the $10K belt.

Day 15 was observing the CL and ES.
Had my set up to SELL on the CL at 9am.
Attempted to short 4 times on 2 lots. The last attempt worked, both targets were reached.
ES had a set up BUY. Only played 1 lot for 1 target.
Good day. Trading by the rules.
And not killing my emotional capital and my physical account with discretionary overrides

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 zmaj 
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Was observing the CL and ES.
My set up showed up on both instruments. I chose to dance with CL.
It turned out not to be as fruitful. The ES did reach both intended targets.
The CL was dancing sideways. It was back and forth again.
At that point i was -46. My stop loss is very short and it did not help me at all today.
The last execution trigger contributed + 31 but unfortunately i only had emotional capital to play 1 lot
That would have made my day if i was emotionally stronger.
(would have could have should have)

I waited for my set up again, and it was moving sideways again before it did do what it usually does.
I attempted to grab some there as well but was mentally caught up in the PnL
Price did move respectively +25 and +14 without your truly
(would have could have should have)

-27 day + commission

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MarkB
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You trade a lot. Is that 55 round turns today? I don't know what your system is but that seems excessive for a systems trader. Are your commissions super cheap or something? Are you hitting out a lot because your stop is close or..? Just curious.

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 zmaj 
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You trade a lot. Is that 55 round turns today? I don't know what your system is but that seems excessive for a systems trader. Are your commissions super cheap or something? Are you hitting out a lot because your stop is close or..? Just curious.

Yes 55 round turns today. My stop loss is 10 cents, but i move it closer right away.
The set up shows on average once per day. But today it showed up 4 times.
And it overlapped on the CL. And i got caught in the chop.
If if i chose to play the ES set up today, it would have been 4 or 5 trades for the day.

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 zmaj 
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Trading CL today. Was waiting for the set up the whole day.
It didn't show up till later in the day. Made a few short attempts.
It didn't work out. A scratch day.

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 zmaj 
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it has been a while, must begin again

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 zmaj 
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07 / 07

Day 1




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 zmaj 
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07 / 07

Day 1






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 zmaj 
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07 / 08

Day 2





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 zmaj 
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07 / 09

Day 3




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 zmaj 
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07 / 10

Day 4





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 zmaj 
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Week 1 Synopsis






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 zmaj 
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(OUCH! Disobeyed every rule in the trading plan = and it shows)


Day 5 = 07 / 13





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 planetkill 
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Are these programmatic entries?
How did you even have the stamina to make 86 trades this morning?

This must be on sim, right?


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(OUCH! Disobeyed every rule in the trading plan = and it shows)


Day 5 = 07 / 13






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 zmaj 
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Are these programmatic entries?
How did you even have the stamina to make 86 trades this morning?

This must be on sim, right?

no bud, its live 3 lots per entry most of the time / i start fishing (as my brother would call it), and there goes the village 86 trades 3 lots per trade / so 30 trades or so...

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 planetkill 
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I guess I do something similar, putting out small feeler trades before scaling up.

Are you buying on an uptick/ selling on down tick?

Today's narrow morning range wasnt great for the method.
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no bud, its live 3 lots per entry most of the time / i start fishing (as my brother would call it), and there goes the village 86 trades 3 lots per trade / so 30 trades or so...


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 zmaj 
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I guess I do something similar, putting out small feeler trades before scaling up.

Are you buying on an uptick/ selling on down tick?

Today's narrow morning range wasnt great for the method.

yes, buying the highs / selling the lows
it was funky today / my rules are set, but simply on occasion such as today i get lost in the numbers thinking i know better / being an idiot, shit-fuckery, what else can i say

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 zmaj 
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Day 6 = 07 / 14





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 zmaj 
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Day 7 = 07 / 15






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 zmaj 
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Funky day / range bound / each trade was 5 lots with immediate profits on 3 lots and 2 runners for something more substantial /

Day 8 = 07/16






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 zmaj 
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Completely trashed myself last week, and gave back all the gains of the week prior
What can i say, I'm a giver. $ -6,000

Had a break to find my mindset again
Continuing tonight/tomorrow

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 chipps1983 
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Completely trashed myself last week, and gave back all the gains of the week prior
What can i say, I'm a giver. $ -6,000

Had a break to find my mindset again
Continuing tonight/tomorrow

I feel your pain. I am in the same boat.

--------
Chipps
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 zmaj 
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I feel your pain. I am in the same boat.


we keep fighting my friend, we overcome, we overstand




fear

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 zmaj 
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I seem to be hitting my mental money limit for the moment.
Last round as i attempted to get more then $1,200 out of the market, i ended up giving everything back and then some.

Round 2 / Day 1 / 07/23





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 zmaj 
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Mental breakthrough, Fun Friday


Day 2 / 07/24




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 jupikseliga 
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no bud, its live 3 lots per entry most of the time / i start fishing (as my brother would call it), and there goes the village 86 trades 3 lots per trade / so 30 trades or so...

I really miss Gab Say him hello, if u can ... Thanks Mate

Hard work make me rich
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 Grantx 
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I seem to remember you were struggling at one stage but it appears you are now consistently profitable. We'll done zmaj. It would be nice to read a bit more about how you are dealing with the psychological aspect of trading.

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 zmaj 
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I seem to remember you were struggling at one stage but it appears you are now consistently profitable. We'll done zmaj. It would be nice to read a bit more about how you are dealing with the psychological aspect of trading.

Thank you @Grantx
The struggle is always possible and lurking but, creating structure, being disciplined about my trading plan to follow through with it helped and is helping.
Concentration. I must be focused and not distracted. Very important.
Market Replay. I have had thousand of market replay sessions with my brother practicing each specific execution and methodology that i'm good with. Ninja trading platform market replay tools are priceless.
Listening and reading to Mark Douglas on weekly basis also helped quite a lot. Yes, its a work in progress type deal. I.E. Working on myself!


committed



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 zmaj 
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10 day summary, Thursday, November 19th was day one

Summary, Thursday and Friday


Trades

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 Rrrracer 
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@zmaj, just wanted to say thanks for posting your process. I see a lot of parallels with your journey and my own.

The last five minutes of that Ross Williams video summed it up pretty nicely (but I did watch the whole thing LOL.)

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 zmaj 
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@zmaj, just wanted to say thanks for posting your process. I see a lot of parallels with your journey and my own.

The last five minutes of that Ross Williams video summed it up pretty nicely (but I did watch the whole thing LOL.)

Thank you @Rrrracer



i feel as Guy Martin when i attempt to explain to "civilians" what making progress in day trading is about

Overall trading time today, 4 hrs

day 3 summary




day 3 trades

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 Rrrracer 
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Those guys are some of the craziest dudes on the face of the planet. Thanks for the share

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 zmaj 
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Those guys are some of the craziest dudes on the face of the planet. Thanks for the share

Agree Absolutely after-all the TT does stand for "Titanium Testicles"
How else can one explain this beautiful Isle Of Man event

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 zmaj 
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Trading time 3 hrs

day 4 summary



day 4 trades

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 zmaj 
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Trading time 3 hrs

day 5 summary



day 5 trades

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fukfernando
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Thanks for posting this, inspired me to make a spreadsheet for myself to do the same.

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 zmaj 
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Trading time 2 hrs / scratch day

day 6 summary





day 6 trade



Gold had a bullish price pattern and the Daily candle was an inside day signal.
I missed the Globex session trading signals to go long and to go after the prior day high, thinking i would be able to do it at the NY OPEN.

I forgot that today is a short day due to that holiday feast.

At NY OPEN, 120min chart had a double inside bar signal.
I was ready and had a few good buy signals on a 5min chart where i was targeting that 120min signal breakout.
I didn't respond fast enough to take early profits thinking the price would just keep going.
I got greedy, i wanted a bigger chunk for my first target.

The gods were not kind. The price slapped me silly.
Being negative made me lower the amount of engagement contracts and get into the recovery mode.
The Double inside bar on 120 min chart was a very solid breakout signal.
It helped me capture and recover a good chunk back.
The last trade was a good bouncing buy signal of the Globex Lows level.

In summary.
I kept my head cool and focused on finding the signals and connecting the dots.
The will of the gods was on my side today. I give grateful thanks.
It helped me learn more about myself and recover well

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 zmaj 
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Trading time = 2hrs


day 7 summary




day 7 trades


Had small issues with ninja 7 platform, because of the microsoft silverlight app
I'm still not comfortable with ninja 8 even though it does have many more features.
The interface of ninja 8 seems much slower then ninja 7, anyways, a good day otherwise.

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 zmaj 
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Trading time 2hrs

Day 8 Summary




Day 8 Trades



Late start, and to make it worse, i didn't follow my basic engagement rules.
I stopped before causing any more damage

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 zmaj 
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day 9 summary



Absolutely destroyed myself yesterday. 100+ trades
Discretionary thinking / trade triggers overrides in my mind 100%



Doing better today
I had no discretionary trades today / thanks to those wonderful yesterday's memories

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 Rrrracer 
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Ouch... but call me a liar if I say I hadn't done it myself. Many times. LOL... I feel your pain man. Shake it off, collect yourself, and get back in there.

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 zmaj 
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Ouch... but call me a liar if I say I hadn't done it myself. Many times. LOL... I feel your pain man. Shake it off, collect yourself, and get back in there.

Thank you bud / its a true shit-show in my mind.
I know what the rules are, i made them, and yet i want to bend them, hilarious stuff.

At least I fully accept the responsibility now. It took a while to come to this point, what a journey indeed!

Yep, the longer i stare at the screen the more tired and stupid i become!

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 zmaj 
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Trading time 3 hrs


day 9 summary


day 9 trades


Tomorrow is another day, i must keep and follow my rules of engagement!!
HOLD THAT LINE, FOLLOW AND EXECUTE MY TRADING PLAN!

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 zmaj 
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Trading time 8hr

day 10 summary


day 10 trades



I simply was not ready at the OPEN, and the rest of the day played a game of catch up

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 zmaj 
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Trading time 6hr

day 11 summary


day 11 trades

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 zmaj 
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Trading time 3hrs

day 12 summary

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 zmaj 
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Platform: Abdominal Plank
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Posts: 767 since Jan 2016
Thanks: 455 given, 1,067 received

Trading time 3hr


day 13 summary


day13 trades

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 zmaj 
Market Wizard
Ojai, USA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Abdominal Plank
Trading: Energy
 
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Posts: 767 since Jan 2016
Thanks: 455 given, 1,067 received

Trading time 3hr


day 14 summary


day 14 trades

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ZviTradingCoach
Eilat, Israel
 
 
Posts: 11 since Dec 2020
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Mindfulness is critical in trading, especially day trading.
Other mental issues like those you mention can also be a complete block on trading, and in my experience are often fueled by limiting subconscious beliefs.

Many traders are frustrated with such issues but make the mistake of thinking they will "eventually go away" after enought time and pain.
That's rarely the case, because of two basic issues:
a. Most untrained people lack the skills and proper tools to deal with this stuff. The right tools can make the difference between a few sessions, or a few years. Took me a long time before running into the tools that evetually helped me dig myself out of a similar hole, and get on track on the mental aspect of trading.
b. I'ts very difficult to to work on these things alone - like rescuing yourself when drowning. Even today, as a skilled and trained subconscious facilitator, I sometimes find it useful to work on such issues when I meet them, with another trained person.
The good news - it is completely workable, and breakthrough is possible.
I Wish you success on this endeavor.

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 zmaj 
Market Wizard
Ojai, USA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Abdominal Plank
Trading: Energy
 
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Posts: 767 since Jan 2016
Thanks: 455 given, 1,067 received

Trading time 6hrs


day15 summary


day 15 trades



Was trading using NT7, things went well.
Then i wanted to take a few trades on NT8, the platform froze a couple of times.
I got crushed, gave back all of the profits. Its just one of them days

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 zmaj 
Market Wizard
Ojai, USA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Abdominal Plank
Trading: Energy
 
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Posts: 767 since Jan 2016
Thanks: 455 given, 1,067 received

Learning about price pattern geometry, Crude March contract has a potential "M" shape pattern.
This could initiate more selling next week.
I'm short from 56.72, five contracts
didn't workout / -20 tick stoploss filled instead

120m CL

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