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Zach's Log
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Zach's Log

  #11 (permalink)
Elite Member
Newport, Maine
 
Trading Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Favorite Futures: Emini ES
 
Posts: 37 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 39 given, 13 received

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Decent trading day. I woke up at 7am (naturally, without an alarm clock and right on the dot..), and immediately after waking, I remembered the mistakes I made yesterday morning. The biggest mistakes I made are that I took too much kratom and I was watching too many YouTube videos. I was tired, unmotivated, not focused/totally distracted- then I drank too much coffee and went the other way (after I was done trading). So I took a moderate dose of kratom this morning and ate breakfast earlier, and drank way less coffee. I got on my PC, opened up NinjaTrader and checked out the ES. It was still in a range- fantastic.

Since it was in a range, I had a really hard time coming up with multiple ideas. I did come up with one initially that I liked a lot and the development of price to meet this plans criteria seemed most probable in my imagination- and I did end up following through with the plan way later in the day- but what happened from 9:30am to 10:00am threw me off, and mentally I had abandoned that first plan (I didn't delete support and resistance lines and the entry line, thankfully). Eventually I had set up a new bullish plan that I had no faith in as I was still interpreting price action. I didn't believe as strongly that price was going to go up as I believed that it was going to go down- so when the time came and price approached my long entry target, I ignored it. I'm glad I did this because price didn't continue to go up, instead it reversed and started heading towards my now re-valued set of condition lines.

What sucks about this is, I was waiting for price to pass my entry line that was over 12 points away.. I was watching as the ES went down so consistently with hardly any pullbacks. My plan didn't account for this, and I wasn't going to be impulsive and enter. I've learned my lesson about violating my already made plans- but I knew this was a great opportunity. I was conflicted and even now I don't know how to reconcile this. I stuck to my plan regardless, waited and watched until price eventually hit my entry target (the crimson/bright red-pink line line). I entered short and actually felt confident in the trade, despite all the progress in the past hour or so to the downside, possibly signifying a reversal to the psyche of contrarian and done trend traders.

I walked away from my PC after entry, as I always do, to get my mind off of the trade and to keep myself from closing too early (not really much of an issue anymore, more like ritual). I did some dishes for a minute or two, did some other things that I don't remember, then when I came back I was $150 in the green. Great! I minimized the platform tab and messed around on YouTube (I do this and check back in minute intervals or less, now). After some time, price went all the way down past $200 in my favor. I was tempted to get out then, but remembered the micro to macro affect of asymmetrical gains. I can't always accept $50 gains while losing $200 every loss. I stayed on course and eventually got stopped out at breakeven. Great play considering the state of the market, IMO.

What I did right (personal):
- Woke up at 7am, took an acceptable amount of kratom in order to trade properly and effectively. I drank less coffee too. I was present and closely paying attention to price action.

What I did correctly according to my strategy:
- Created two plans, but only backed the one I felt and thought strongly about. The one I supported the most was highly probable based on the alignment of all the popular charts, more-so compared to the bullish plan. (my subjective interpretation)
- Wasn't impulsive, didn't chase and enter a trade I didn't have a plan for, even though the market was taking off without me for a dozen points. (Patient and disciplined)
- Didn't manually close the trade. If I keep replicating this, one day I will ride a fantastic trend that could make up for many losses.

What I did incorrectly according to my strategy:
- I wasn't that adaptable in that I couldn't come up with multiple plans as the market was in a range and was hard to read. To me, I'm trading a relatively choppy market, a market that I'm not used to. There were a couple of huge opportunities that I just wasn't equipped to take advantage of. This market seems pretty ideal for contrarian scalpers, but not for me, yet.

Lesson:
- The lesson of today could be interpreted in many ways. I could get used to trading a market like this through focusing on what I consider to be "inconspicuous" entries.. Knowing that the market is in a range on the daily, it could be acceptable to speculate that there's going to be a lot of back and forth price action represented by the 10-15 minute charts: big candles with big wicks going sideways (in this case, going down with long wicks, and hitting stops). These erratic patterns could signal to trade in a different way (contrarian scalping).. On days like this I could try to develop a different strategy or I could not trade at all and stick to what I know. I'll determine so through further contemplation; it may not be worth trading in market conditions like this, after all.

There may be contradicting nuances regarding my strategy and approach to the market evident through this log. I may revisit this in the future, refreshed, to identify and correct myself, to then refine my trading.

Acc. balance: $4262.90

Attached Thumbnails
Zach's Log-wekly.png   Zach's Log-d.png   Zach's Log-60.png   Zach's Log-2019-01-29-3-.png  
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  #12 (permalink)
Elite Member
Newport, Maine
 
Trading Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Favorite Futures: Emini ES
 
Posts: 37 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 39 given, 13 received

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I went through my typical routine except woke up 15 minutes past 7am, and got settled in at my computer around 7:30am. I watched some videos and got them out of the way (as they're distracting) and started analyzing the market around 7:45ish. The ES was/is still in a range, just like yesterday, so in order for me to set up a plan, I had to wait for price action to develop further. Although for good measure, I established two rough plans for either direction. Those plans are evident through the daily chart (1st line is entry, 2nd from it is profit target- ignore the green line).

I couldn't come up with anything special so I defaulted to the two plans I made in the beginning, in the end. As price moved, I could see potential, but the choppiness of the market put me off and I didn't feel it was worth the risk to enter these different last minute plans. Every entry target I made was quickly invalidated by price going through a range or a reversal. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out something to no avail. This turned out to be exhausting over the course of 3 hours. Anyways, I gave up trying to put a set of condition lines on the market and let price do it's thing, hardly anticipating price to eventually pass support/resistance or an entry point.

Nowadays, I make most of my trades from 10am-11am. I usually don't enter a trade after 11am, but I've noticed that every half hour (not always) volatility spikes for at least a couple minutes, which drives activity from following traders (speculation). I don't have a strict rule against trading after 11am as I've had some success doing so, it's just uncommon for me. Today, as price reached my bullish entry target/after I entered, price really slowed down.. It was excrutiating to stay in the trade, as it was pure chop. At this point I just wanted to stop trading, because I realized I don't like trading when the ES is like this- at all. This trade didn't feel like a good trade.

Anyways, I broke a rule of mine: Never manually close a trade. I closed out of some kind of trading fatigue, I closed because volatility was slowing down and price was constantly going back and forth. So I decided to just get out and call it a day (Gained $20.74). It's a shame, too, because price ran up 9 points without me. How foolish of me to break a rule. I had a lot of conflicting information to consider simultaneously, and I was simply wrong in the end. No hard feelings. I need to consciously establish some things if I'm ever to trade in conditions like this again like: Just because a market is volatile, doesn't mean you can or should alter the rules of your system.

What I did correctly according to my strategy and approach:
- I put great effort into interpreting and constantly re-interpreting price action to determine high probability set-ups. I looked for alignment regarding every plan I made, and I focused on what's the most likely thing to happen in any given situation. This was hard to determine on a day like this.
- Most of the time I was very skeptical of price action. I noticed a lot of fake-outs/no follow through with certain trends. I saw a lot of surging of price that reverted soon if not immediately after.
- I acted on one of my initial thoughts of a great entry. It seems the first plans I make are correct, more often than not.

What I did incorrectly according to my strategy and approach:
- I closed the trade manually, didn't let the trade develop..

Lesson: Always stick to your rules. You won't know if your system works if you constantly change it based on the behavior of the market. Also, determine after some time analyzing price if any given day is an appropriate day to trade, based on your strategy.

Acc. balance: $4283.64

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  #13 (permalink)
Elite Member
Newport, Maine
 
Trading Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Favorite Futures: Emini ES
 
Posts: 37 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 39 given, 13 received


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Great trading day. I got out of bed at 7:30am and immediately turned on my computer to check the ES. At first glance, I could imagine price going up, so I plotted support and resistance lines (light blue) then placed entry targets (crimson/red lines) 2 points or more- the word more refers to the second bearish plan- before the S&R lines to get an early entry. To be clear, I place entry targets based on where I think the direction of a trade would seem more than likely to continue, for example; look at the 15 minute chart: my place of entry for the bearish plan was the red line, the second line from the bottom. At that point is where I assume the probability of continuation of a trend is greater- especially in this context. I know all traders do this kind of thing at least implicitly (if they're not gamblers) and I find it helpful to get really specific and to define seemingly obvious things, to understand exactly what I'm doing. Clarity is power, so I'm going to be even more thorough with my trading in this regard.

Anyways, I had established both plans relatively early and I had thought out the terms of conditions in order to enter either trade although, looking back, these conditions of entry were too general. I can do better. There were circumstances I didn't account for; like early price movement to the downside. I really thought that price was going to make new highs today- and it might later, but I imagined that price was going to go sideways for a bit after the open, then run up some, if not a lot. Instead, around 9am, price started going down towards my bearish entry line, so I re-analyzed all of the charts to see, by looking at the charts for alignment, that if price did pass my entry line, that this could be considered a high probability trade. This was confirmation. I ended up entering at 9:15 when price crossed that line, honestly, in hopes that during the open that price would plumet. To my system this was considered a high probability trade- but, admittedly, I could do better in refining my standards as to what exactly constitutes a high probability trade. I know visually it seemed like one.

Basically what happened is that price slowed down within that 15 minutes before 9:30, and was in my favor a couple of ticks, to then go against me by a couple ticks, alternating choppily- what happened to the consistency of movement right before I entered? When the clock hit 9:29-9:30, price went wild as it usually does. It was in a range, there were micro surges and drops for a whole half hour. Price tested my entry line 4 times while I was in the trade (it became support and resistance), and I did take that as a sign that I should close, but I don't plan on violating my rules again anytime soon- there was a solid reason why I entered the trade, and I knew all the charts were still aligned. I'd actually like some traders feedback on this boundary testing; in your experience, if price tests and fails breaching a specific price multiple times, do you take that sign as a reversal or do you stay on course? I imagine it either depends on your systems rules or you determine so at your discretion from experience depending on the context. I stuck to my system as I'm not that experienced.

I observed calmly until I got stopped out with a $204.26 loss. I wasn't upset, in a way I was kind of relieved, because I accepted taking the risk of entering before the open when I know things get crazy. I knew this could've been a great opportunity to take advantage of so I don't regret entering. I just need to clarify some things and put some more constraints on my system; what exactly constitutes a high probability trade besides what can be seen on the charts?: I think hypothesizing more and coming up with multiple conditional clauses (if x happens, then x is more likely to happen) would help my flexibility in considering the best course of action in certain situations. I'll hypothesize thoroughly before entry, early in the morning, for each plan. I know accounting for every possibility is impossible, but I'll be reasonably specific and general.

What I did correctly according to my strategy:
- Pre-open analysis. Imagined most probable outcomes based on present chart data and planned accordingly. Plotted entry targets based on what I thought were areas of possible popular entry; the beginning of the drop of a double to triple top like pattern, to enter in the beginning of a trend.
My plans were based on seemingly high probability set-ups determined visually through alignment of the daily, hourly and 15 minute charts.
- I didn't close the position manually. I let myself get stopped out.

I'm still experimenting with my strategy. As of now, it isn't working, and that may be because I'm not always following my rules (closing positions too early on winning trades) and there's no saying if it works or not until I'm able to follow those rules. What I'm going to do though is, pre-entry, imagine a multitude of general if-then clauses in order to enter under a certain plan. For example, if price ends up reaching one of my bearish plans entry lines before the open like today, then I wouldn't enter- until after the open, despite what price is doing because there isn't enough volume and volatility, there isn't enough dense price behavior, there isn't enough testing of boundaries (which I'm beginning to think is relevant and probably should influence decisions to some degree).
If I wanted to enter short and follow through with this plan, I may abide by an additional conditional clause such as "if price is in a range, and my entry line becomes resistance, I'll only enter if price bounces off of support 3 times; suggesting hesitation from the bulls"- and what supporting such a condition would be bearish alignment of popular charts.

>Implementing if-then clauses for better entries. No more entries based on visual representations alone. Specific conditions need to be met.

What I did incorrectly according to my standards:
- Wasn't specific enough of conditions to enter.

Acc. balance: $4079.38

Attached Thumbnails
Zach's Log-daily.png   Zach's Log-60-minute.png   Zach's Log-15-minute.png  

Last edited by Zachary Standley; January 31st, 2019 at 01:42 PM.
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  #14 (permalink)
Elite Member
Newport, Maine
 
Trading Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Favorite Futures: Emini ES
 
Posts: 37 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 39 given, 13 received

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Woke up late this morning at 7:30am because I had a hard time sleeping last night. By 7:45, I was at my computer watching videos as usual. Not soon after, I opened up NinjaTrader to analyze the ES. Once again, like yesterday, (and I think the day before), after analyzing the weekly, daily, hourly and 15 minute charts, I saw bullish potential. I plotted support/resistance (blue line) and an entry target (red/crimson line) 2 points after S&R to go long. Take profit point is the green line on the charts above. I created another plan that was bearish that had 2 possible entry points, but as price developed as the trading day went on, I thought that I wouldn't need those extra lines on my charts, so I deleted them.

At the open, price went into a range for half an hour. I sat in my chair, watching and waiting for a breakout of the current range in either direction. Starting from the open at 9:30 and before the breakout happened, price had tested resistance (bullish perspective) 4 times. It tested support 5 times. At the time, I wasn't so sure of where price was going to go- It just didn't want to break out of the range and was failing to pass support and resistance lines. It did breach support once, but then out of nowhere, price surged up with perfect bullish candles after that bearish test, and moved in this consistent fashion upwards. Promising.

Price was moving bullishly with natural pullbacks, and it was approaching my bullish plans entry line. Instead of immediately jumping in and buying when my target was hit, I decided to sit back and observe what would happen if that line was crossed- yes, I could've missed this opportunity, but given the behavior of the market earlier, I thought this was the right thing to do. Price crossed the entry line by a couple ticks, then pulled back underneath it. It did the same thing a second time- these candles developed long and they were hovering right underneath my entry. Did it a third time. Price was still was really close to entry. So on the fourth attempt, I decided to finally enter long. Price surged up 2 points in a somewhat choppy manner, consolidated, got weak, then headed back down towards my entry target.

Price went 2 points down past my entry before it tried to test my entry line again. Tested this line twice, breached it once, failed, then it sold off completely where I got stopped out with a $204.26 loss. Damn, 3rd loser this week. Something needs to change. I consciously knew that after all that testing and failure of bullish sentiment, it seemed more likely that price would reverse. I knew this but my system doesn't allow for me to exit trades (I don't allow)- so I may have to implement some more rules regarding getting out of most likely wrong trades based on multiple failures of price action (5+ tests) to cross S&R.

I guess what it comes down to is personal action on what you think is most likely to happen next on a moment to moment basis- considering both behavior in the shorter term time frames and looking for alignment between the longer term time charts. I think my trading and my strategy has a flaw in that I/mostly it doesn't consider short-term price moves (like S&R testing) influences on traders behaviors and their most likely reactions (impossible to know, but could be estimated in real time). Thought: Yes- the weekly, daily, and hourly charts are aligned to the upside, but in the shorter-term time frames (5-15min.) and in the tick charts (I use 500 tick), price refuses to break resistance evident through more than 8 tests and failures to the upside. I feel that I've been daft in this regard because today and in the recent past I'd stubbornly stick to my rule of not closing trades early while noticing in real time price action behavior that is counter to my position and suggests an impending reversal.

I'm going to implement a rule; after so many tests and failures of S&R in my favor while in a position, I'll close early if: A.) volume and volatility are implicity considered low. B.) price has tested an area of S&R X amount of times or more along with C.) price has broken the S&R area X amount of times, but failed to continue and reverted to the range. This implementation is not set in stone, it's just an example and a generalization. I still plan on holding trades aggressively but if certain conditions are met, I'll close a position. Needless to say, I've got a lot of thinking and experimenting to do. Some feedback would be much appreciated right now.

Acc. balance: $3875.12

Attached Thumbnails
Zach's Log-weekly.png   Zach's Log-daily.png   Zach's Log-hourly.png   Zach's Log-15-minute.png  
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  #15 (permalink)
Elite Member
Newport, Maine
 
Trading Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Favorite Futures: Emini ES
 
Posts: 37 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 39 given, 13 received

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There's a lot to be said about my strategy now and todays trading. I got on my computer relatively late this morning at 8am. Went through my routine. Analyzed the ES- first impression/projection was that we're going to get a big bullish engulfing candle in the daily chart by the end of the day. I notice I've been pretty bullish the past couple of weeks or so, which makes sense as I'm predominately a trend follower/trader. Anyways, I set up 2 plans (also typical), to account for general swings and trends in either direction.

Lately I've been trying to get a lot more specific about the criteria in order to enter and exit a trade. After having 3 big losers last week, and having had 2 trades where I knew I should've gotten out but didn't, I felt I had to implement some new rules. First of all, I constrained my entry conditions significantly: 1. No more trading on fridays. 2. Only trade within 10am-12pm. 3. Volume and volatility must be "moderate" (still an implicit understanding, I'm working to make my definitions of low, moderate and high volatility explicit) 4. If there's evidence of follow-through of trends within the hour; price passes or breaches S&R within 5 attempts or less- then it would be considered "safe" to enter soon. 5. If price breaches S&R convincingly then reverses, and does this twice, it is not safe to enter (within the hour)- unless, possibly in the opposing direction. If price starts behaving "positively" within the same hour, the S&R testing and fake-out counter is reset.

As for the exit conditions: 1. If price tests new highs/lows S&R 7 times and won't breach 7 times (S&R testing). 2. If price fails to continue after breaching S&R convincingly 2 times (fake-outs). So if price tested S&R 7 times and fully breached it twice but with no continuation, it would be acceptable to get out of the trade. As you can probably tell, my entry conditions are top heavy to my exit criteria. I still go by the philosophy that if a trade is worth taking, it better be worth getting stopped out, so after the most obvious signs of a reversal will it be acceptable for me to close a trade. I'm going to go by these rules and most likely add more if I find myself in a situation while trading that I don't know how to deal with. Anyways- I used these new set of conditions today while trading- and man, I felt so confident.

To intersect real quick- I'm starting to realize the futility of staying entirely committed to an initial plan- yes, there have been multiple times where I was right about the direction of the market at first glance- but to watch price make 20 point moves before it hits my favored plans entry line is foolish. So I've changed my perspective and methodology on that as well. I still think initial impressions and plans hold merit, but if I'm watching price move and see something else- notice a better entry for example, then I'm not going to wait (as long as my entry conditions are met, of course). I'm going to come up with plans based on alignment of longer time charts and through real-time analysis of tick charts (looking for S&R testing, failures & reversals), combined. I'm not going to trade solely based on alignment anymore.

As for today's trade, I watched price and kind of mentally narrated it's behavior: "price tested a bearish S&R line 5 times then reversed to the upside smoothly.. price is forming a double top pattern in the 500 tick which appeals to the bears.. now it's going down" etc. This mental narration of price helped me consider what I thought was most likely to happen next (sounds obvious and maybe even dumb, but I bet there are profound implications to this). When I saw an opportunity today, it was around 10:45, and by thinking through the behavior of price the past hour and a half, I determined that the most likely thing to happen next was a bull trend. The ES tested bearishly in high-single-digit point swings already, and through the process of elimination I was convinced price had to go up. I entered long and walked away from my computer. (The indigo line in the charts above was my entry, and the crimson/red line was my profit target)

I took a long shower while I was away. When I came back, I was 5 ticks in the green. Volatility was low compared to earlier, so I re-analyzed the charts to reaffirm that this trade was worth staying in. It was. Everything was aligned and price action was at least OK (was great when I entered). I stayed in the trade, hitting $300 of unrealized profits. This is the first time I've ever done that, by the way. Unfortunately, some more time passed and price went down a couple points, and after 45 minutes of being in this trade, I just wanted to get out. I broke my rule, once again, and got out of the trade too early with a profit of $183.24. If I had waited I would've hit my profit target of $400 by 12:20pm.

What I did incorrectly according to my strategy:
- Got out too early. Didn't stick to the new exit conditions. The trend had only minor pullbacks but the market was low in volatility. It is understandable why I closed the trade earlier than I was supposed to, but this behavior is not acceptable in the long run.

What I did correctly according to my strategy (and mind):
- Didn't miss opportunities waiting for price to hit my initial plans entry line. Considered both alignment of longer-term time charts and most probable implications of live price action. I synthesized these perspectives in creation of a new plan.
- Abided by new entry conditions. Felt very confident in this plan.
- Walked away and held the trade for a long time (but not long enough).
- Mental narration of price.

Why did I get out so early?:
- I rationalized: "volatility is low (but exit conditions weren't met), I've been in the trade for long enough, this is probably going to go against me". Just wanted to get my money off the table.
How do I avoid making this mistake again in the future?: Only check price action every 15 minutes or so, don't sit there and watch it- but make sure to check it during times of historically higher volatility like at 11:00am, for example. I'm going to create some more conditions or rules in regards to situations like this.

Acc. balance: $4058.36

Attached Thumbnails
Zach's Log-daily.png   Zach's Log-hourly.png   Zach's Log-15-minute.png   Zach's Log-500.png  
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  #16 (permalink)
Elite Member
Newport, Maine
 
Trading Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Favorite Futures: Emini ES
 
Posts: 37 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 39 given, 13 received

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Great trading day. A couple days ago, I had this idea that I thought would be much more useful than my first or original way of plotting lines. I implemented and tested this idea out today: So I analyzed the daily chart, then I established, with a highlighter, areas that I thought were highly likely for price to continue (the green zones) based on longer-term time frames. This is very basic and not too different than simply plotting lines, but personally it feels like I'm plotting these firmer boundaries that may guide me in making better decisions and visually, this is much more helpful than using just lines. It's more black and white. I determined these higher probability zones lending to continuation through just a quick look at the daily chart- these zones would be a reminder to me while trading, that it would make sense to enter in this area in great market conditions after a breakout. Not entering at a specific price- but in this zone. I like this a lot more because I'm not boxing myself in (anymore) with my entries; I used to use entry lines for exact entry points and I'd wait for price to breach said line. With these zones of approximate acceptable entry, I have more flexibility. How strange a small thing like this seems to help perceptually, and gives more order to my trading. Maybe because I don't have a million lines on my chart.

At first glance this morning, I was bearish. The last candle in the ES of the daily chart was bearish and over-towered by a bullish candle but just in case, instead of planning for a single event, I established these higher probability zones for a breakout in either direction. My thought was that the bearish candle was going to engulf the bullish candle, and I antipicated that price would head all the way down to the end of the bullish green zone (check out the daily chart above). I figured after all of this bullish behavior in the past week or so, we're do for at least a little bit of a range and some moves to the downside. Anyways, I messed around on YouTube for an hour or so until the clock hit 9:30am.

Looking through the 500 tick chart, price gradually went up at the open, then sold off more than it went up. Price went up again, but didn't meet where it was bought to the last rally. It sold off even more, starting a pretty convincing downtrend. There was an opportunity for a reversal during this micro-bear trend but it turned out to be just a pullback, so there was continuation. Sweet. Price was approaching my bearish zone of acceptable entry. Price tested the beginning of this zone 3 times (evident through the 500 tick chart), which with each consecutive test of the zone, the further price went down. I thought it was entirely possible for the market to go even further down- and this was the initial plan, after all. Price was in my zone. There were beautiful trends and follow-through in the past hour. So on the fourth test of price in the beginning of the acceptable entry zone, where price was at it's lowest, I entered short. I immediately walked away from my computer to let price do it's thing.

I came back not even a couple minutes later and I was stopped out for a $204.26 loss. It turns out that I sold at the very bottom, and price spiked up right after I entered. I wasn't all that surprised, to be honest. I was totally comfortable with my plan and I was confident in my entry based on price action, and I wouldn't have entered short if I thought there wasn't going to be a continuation. In retrospect, the trend was pretty long for the ES, and the testing of price on my entry zone was questionable, but in the end I still thought it was possible and more likely for price to continue downwards. I was simply on the wrong side of the market today. I got in the way of a mob of previous sellers closing their positions, and in the way of more experienced traders anticipating a reversal to the upside. To say that I was just on the wrong side of the market today doesn't take away from the fact that I did something wrong. It may be that I need more screen time to get a better understanding of how price moves in varying conditions.

I've noticed there's a lot of opportunity within the confines of general range of price, and I remember mentioning this in a different log, but I'm starting to think it would make more sense to get used to playing within ranges with follow-through; like today for example, price didn't breakout totally in either of my acceptable entry zones, yet there were beautiful trends forming between those zones I made. It's as if I could use these acceptable entry zones as boundaries for price to bounce off of to anticipate reversals, as I'm always wrong (). Joking aside, I'm going to put effort into planning between these seemingly acceptable entry zones tomorrow so I can get a jump on entry, rather than waiting too long for price to maybe breakout.

All of these 8-10 point trends hypothetically could be said to nullify the utility of the daily chart, to some extent- I watched these borderline perfect trends develop in real-time, that my interpretation of the daily chart would suggest that it'd be best not to enter at that moment, as price wouldn't be in my acceptable entry zone. There seems to be this reactionary follow-through of trends through the 500 tick chart that is more prominently traded compared to the longer-term time charts. This is an assumption of course, as I can't see every traders screen. What I'm trying to say is, the immediate, reactive micro trend trading takes precedence over the daily chart, and the consequences of live price action determine the direction of the market as much, if not more, than alignment of charts that would be popularly used in stock (daily, hourly, 15 min., etc.) trading. I'm typing conjecture, and actually it would be great to get some feedback on this bit in particular. What charts do you use?

Lesson: You can't always wait for price to get into a certain area in order to enter a trade, although establishing higher probability of continuation zones to anticipate a breakout in certain conditions is acceptable, even warranted for my style of trading. Tick chart traders are going to jump in on a trend, whether or not said trend is aligned with longer term time charts. Not everyone trades the break-out. Alignment of charts is not enough. Attention to price action and consideration of the reactivity of such is as or more important than synchronicity between charts. Focus on getting an earlier entry on trends, because price may not move as far as you think or hope it will.

Acc. balance: $3854.10

Attached Thumbnails
Zach's Log-daily.png   Zach's Log-60-minute.png   Zach's Log-15-minute.png   Zach's Log-500.png  
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  #17 (permalink)
Elite Member
Newport, Maine
 
Trading Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Favorite Futures: Emini ES
 
Posts: 37 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 39 given, 13 received

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Amazing trading day! I woke up at 8am this morning and decided to approach my day differently by not automatically indulging in kratom right after waking. I put it off for 20 minutes, and then when I felt the physical need to take it, I only took a little bit compared to usual. When even the slightest bit of effects kicked in 40 minutes later, I wanted nothing to do with it- so I drank some coffee to neutralize the already minimal effects. I didn't drink too much of that, either. I felt ready, and most importantly, I felt totally motivated and compelled to act on todays trading opportunities.

I also did something different last night. I remembered the utility in imagining future likely scenarios of price, so I came up with 2 different possibilities- I'm not going to share them, because one became nullified as the conditions for the other were met, but by the time I got up this morning to check the market, my entry area was already passed and price was doing it's own thing. So I had to come up with different plans before the open. None of these plans came to fruition either, as price was relatively erratic today.

Price in the ES was going down ever since last night, except not to the degree that it dropped around 6am this morning (this is when my plans from last night became invalidated). Ever since 6am, price was in a broader kind of range until the open, then after 9:30, price oscillated choppily downwards, but this action was totally un-tradable for me so I sat on the sidelines. I had set up a number of plans and I was waiting for price to approach certain areas and do certain things in order for me to enter. As I mentioned earlier, none of these plans worked out. So I was stuck just watching price freak out for awhile, until I saw something else.

It was obvious that price was failing to go down in a consistent manner. The consequence of this kind of price action is apprehension from the traders that didn't already enter. I know I was looking for some kind of sign or indication that price was more likely to do something unlike how it was already behaving. After many tests and breaches of lines to the downside, price finally bounced out of that choppy mess and a bull trend was emerging. This was my opportunity- planned or not. I felt it physically, even. This trade had some potential.

I had my eye on entering long after price breached 2712. The problem was, I couldn't imagine price going very far upwards- given the progress to the downside that happened today. I thought it was more likely for price to only go up to 2724 at most, but even then, it seemed wrong given the state of the daily chart, and there wasn't exactly alignment of the other charts- the 15 minute chart was a total mess. Anyways, price action was supportive of bullish sentiment for a little while, so I entered at 2716.50. Price went up some, then it failed. I didn't overthink what I thought or felt was going to happen next- so I exited the trade with a tick of profit. I was somewhat questioning myself, because I hardly ever enter impulsively anymore, but I felt strongly about this trade at the time. I felt just as strongly that it was going to fail, right before it did.

Afterwards I thought to myself, since price failed to the upside with little to no hesitation of a reversal, it would really make sense to go short right now. This thought really started to make even more sense as price crept bearishly. I re-analyzed all the charts, and it really seemed like the most probable thing that was going to happen next, was a big bearish move to at least 2705. I could absolutely see it happening. So without hesitation, without planning excessively, I entered short at 2711.75, and price cruised to my profit target at 2703.75 leaving me with a gain of $403.98. This is my greatest trading achievement to date.

What I did differently:
- Even though there was no use for all the plans I made last night, they helped me organize the market, in a sense. I had all these if-then scenarios to fall back on and I felt more prepared. I planned more extensively this morning, and even though none of those ideas worked out, I was psychologically ready. I like coming up with if-then scenarios and will absolutely implement them every trading day.
- I didn't feel the need to stick to these plans because the plans I made were based on current price behavior, and if price moved differently than I had anticipated for a particular plan, it would alter the likelihood for or against said plan. So I had to constantly re-evaluate the "efficacy" of each plan, and I was creating if-then scenarios while watching price action simultaneously- I acted on mental set-ups that gave me a sense of confidence and urgency to enter, because I established internally that these set-ups were likely to succeed. My trading was both reactionary, and guided by alignment of charts. I also considered volatility and the time of day.
- I wasn't so apprehensive to enter set-ups that I was really mentally convinced were going to be successful. I just did it.
- I didn't use an entry line. I used an entry area, and sold at the end of a pullback.
- I based my trade off of price failure. Price failed to go up, so I thought it was likely for it to revert back down given the circumstances. I kept in mind the concept of regression to the mean.

Lesson: Trade the reactions in high probability set-ups determined by alignment of charts (daily, 60 min., 15 min, 10,000 tick, 5000 tick- get a wholesome perspective of what price is doing to determine the most probable direction) and moderate-high volatility. Consider the time of day to "predict" volatility. Keep in mind the concept of regression to the mean. Trade the failures of price.

Acc. balance: $4258.08

Attached Thumbnails
Zach's Log-daily.png   Zach's Log-hourly.png   Zach's Log-10000-tick.png   Zach's Log-500-tick.png  
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  #18 (permalink)
Elite Member
Newport, Maine
 
Trading Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Favorite Futures: Emini ES
 
Posts: 37 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 39 given, 13 received

Didn't take a trade today.

At first glance this morning, I thought it was possible and actually likely for price to go up and test the 2737 area in the ES, at most. I created many if-then conditional clauses, but the market didn't meet any of my criteria. Price worked around all of my conditional clauses, but not in a manner that would've been beneficial to my account size had I prepared for the behavior because price action was too wild to trade- it seemed and was more likely for me to get stopped out. Overall, after the open, price choppily and slowly went down, perpetuating itself through small break-outs followed by ranges- over and over again. I was actually screen-recording and speaking into a microphone as I was trading, and I found that this literal verbal narrative of price helped me make sense of things directly. I may do this again.

I didn't like price action today at all; hardly any follow-through/too much hesitation. I didn't see anything promising and I'm glad I didn't take a trade. We'll see what happens tomorrow.

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  #19 (permalink)
Elite Member
Newport, Maine
 
Trading Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Favorite Futures: Emini ES
 
Posts: 37 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 39 given, 13 received

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This morning, I immediately went to analyzing the ES and I contemplated multiple scenarios of price action. As I trade, I jot down my ideas, and here's what I wrote for possibilities of price: A.) Price goes straight up. B.) Price stagnates (at the open) then breaks out bullishly. C.) Price goes into a range with occasional [and infrequent] bullish break-outs (only slightly varies from scenario B]., etc. You get the point. So from these scenarios, I established what I would do if any one of them happened. I didn't establish what I'd do for every single scenario; I wrote down what I'd do in the most likely of scenarios (that I subjectively thought was likely). The reasoning for writing so many is because it would be counterproductive to try to account for every possibility, so some generalization (within reason) of alternate price scenarios is necessary.

Pertaining to scenario A, I wrote: "If price rally's up to 2737 and there's a lot of resistance, I'm going to wait to determine support and resistance breaks and follow-through (discretionary lens). If price feels good, I will enter long. Today there could be a massive opportunity [to the upside]. Wouldn't be surprised if we make higher highs today." So historically, the initial interpretation that I make or the stance that I take is reasonable. This makes sense as I have a fresh perspective on the market at the start of the day- I'm not as stressed or as under pressure at that point- as the trading day goes on, the pressure to act on opportunities rises, because there definitely exists a time window to take great trades. In retrospect, this is the wrong mentality to have, as it should be the case that a trader should wait for opportunities rather than to pursue them. Anyways.

I had the general possibilities/scenarios right in front of me at the open. For the first minute, the ES went into a range. It slowly got out of that range, moving roughly 8-9 points bullishly in the course of a half hour. After that, the market went sideways for a bit. All the charts were aligned and signaled to me that it would be best to go long, but the thing was, price was behaving oddly. Price was in a range between 10am-10:40am, and was sending me mixed signals. There were points within that time period where I interpreted price as more likely going down, than up. My views on future price movement changed as time passed, as price moved. I was waiting for a break-out in either direction, and at some point, mentally, I had established to myself that price was going to fail and drop.

The rationale behind this thinking is that price was trying to break this certain level for almost an hour. Every attempt to the upside was stuffed, and every now and again, price would go down a decent amount, signaling the start of a double top like pattern in the 15 minute chart and charts alike (similar pattern in the 10,000 tick chart as well, hourly could've been interpreted as bearish at this point too). I honestly was really conflicted as to what to do, I could see price going in either direction. My knowledge of trading, one of the most basic axioms, is "trade the trend". That saying did come to mind- but what also came to mind is the concept of "regression to the mean".

So at some point, price broke support and went down further than ever in the previous 40 minutes or so. I thought this was the start of a bearish trend, so I jumped in at 2730 short. I walked away from my computer as always to use the bathroom, and I had a bad feeling. I thought, "I directly went against the trend.. But regression to the mean, bullish stagnation.." I realized when in the bathroom that I wasn't so sure of the trade after all, given these conflicting thoughts. I was skeptical of it. So I immediately went back to my computer, and I saw that I was in the red. Of course. I sold at the bottom, I anticipated more bearish action, more bearish traders to follow. I was just wrong. Price reversed bullishly, and since I knew I was in a bad trade that I no longer believed in, I asked myself if it would be right for me to get out of the trade manually. I ended up violating my "don't close manually" rule by exiting a tick early from getting stopped out. [-$191.76]

The wave that almost stopped me out was the wave that went roughly 10 points upwards.

Lesson: Trade the trend. Go with it.

Acc. balance: $4066.32

Attached Thumbnails
Zach's Log-daily.png   Zach's Log-60-min..png   Zach's Log-15-min.png   Zach's Log-500-tick.png  
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  #20 (permalink)
Elite Member
Newport, Maine
 
Trading Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Favorite Futures: Emini ES
 
Posts: 37 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 39 given, 13 received


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Disappointed and frustrated. After my bad trade yesterday, I wrote out a checklist for higher probability set-ups to remind me exactly what I should be looking for, and so I don't deviate from my plan or break any rules. It goes like this (all answers to the questions must be yes or a check mark, with some details- depending on the question. Here's the checklist and todays answers.):

1. Is it not a friday? = Check mark
2. Have you contemplated and written down multiple likely scenarios of price action (subjective determination)? = Check mark
3. Do you have a strong initial impression on where the market is going to move? = "It's going to be a range day. It's possible that price will continue higher, and I could also see price down down." - Which means I saw price going into a range first, bullish behavior second, bearish third.
4. Are you going with the trend/is there alignment among charts? Check mark
5. Is it between 10am-12pm? Check mark
6. Is volatility "moderate" to "slightly high"? Check mark
7. Is price moving in a consistent manner without that much hesitation? Check mark
8. Do you feel very confident in the trade? "Yes."


So I had accounted for general possible scenarios in price action. If anything, I was anticipating a range at first, then some bullish behavior, but a minute after the open, price made a 8-9 point bullish move. This kind of threw me off, but I established that I wasn't going to enter long until after 10am because I'm most successful then. Price action seems to become less erratic and consistent, overall, in my experience. 10 minutes after the 9:30 surge, price was bouncing off of my entry line that was ~5 points away from the previous high/S&R that was just violated. Price crept out of that range to the downside in an attempt to start a larger bearish trend, but failed and reversed at 10:16am.

Price was moving perfectly, it wasn't too erratic, it wasn't too fast or slow. It was consistent, and there was some nice follow-through. I looked at the 60 minute chart, the 15 minute chart, the 10,000 tick chart and the daily. Given the market conditions at the time, the smooth movement of price and the alignment between the charts, today felt like a perfect day to take a trade. So I decided to enter long during that reversal from the downside, thinking that more buyers would follow. I entered at 2758.50 at 10:25am. I felt so confident in this trade, I believed that it was likely to be a winner.

That's when the follow-through stopped, and price went into a range. Price initially went against me but overall, while holding the position, price was mostly in my favor. Even though price went against me a couple times, I still had faith in the trade. Anyways, price oscillated back and forth in this little range, and eventually the bulls sold off and a bear trend started, and that's when I got stopped out for a $204.26 loss. Looking back, like I said, I was so confident and had faith in this trade, but as price action progressed and changed, I started to question my position. My position became invalidated by immediate action of price- nothing new here.


So basically, all of the entry conditions that I truly use are in the checklist above. I'm going to go by that for another 2 months along with the "can't close a trade manually" stop loss strategy. I won't break any rules, I'll follow it to the T. If this strategy proves to be unsuccessful, I suspect it'll be because of my stop loss strategy. If that's the case, I'll alter it so I'll be able to get out of trades that I think are likely to go against me. If that provision doesn't produce results within another 2 months, I'm going to get a mentor.

Acc. balance: $3862.06

Attached Thumbnails
Zach's Log-daily.png   Zach's Log-60-minute.png   Zach's Log-10000-tick.png   Zach's Log-15-minute.png   Zach's Log-5-minute.png  
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