Zach's Log
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Zach's Log


Trading Journals

Created January 22nd 2019 by Zachary Standley
Updated December 31st 2019 by Zachary Standley
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Zach's Log

  #301 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Dallas, TX
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NT, TS
Broker/Data: IB, Oanda
Favorite Futures: ES, MES, MNQ, MYM
 
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Zachary Standley View Post
I haven't really felt like updating my journal lately!

Something has sprung up in my personal life (nothing terribly serious), and admittedly, it has been interfering with my trading. I've been somewhat lazy, apathetic, and it has shown in my absence and in my most recent trading performance. Yesterday I lost 2 points, and today I lost 2 points- not too big of a deal, really: Today's trade I was simply early in my execution by a couple of points, and with yesterdays trade, I traded against the trend. I know I can do better, and I will. (It's the only reasonable option if I want to make a living out of this )

@Salao, I learned the footprint through Axia Futures. I didn't buy their course or anything, I simply watched one of their webinars that's right on YouTube. It explains the basics of the footprint. As for the divergence you mentioned, I honestly wasn't aware of that. I've just been paying attention to what I consider to be exhaustion or absorption, and that's all I look for. Axia Futures has videos on these two concepts as well.

@TopGunNote There's no solid basis for why I chose the 8 range chart. When I was first introduced to OrderFlow, I watched this video of this random guy trading the 8 range chart. I thought "Hey, that looks cool," and it's been my chart ever since. I like it.

I'll come out of this funk over the weekend, I think.

A slump is part of any success in life. The key is to "keep moving forward." I am sure you will do fine soon and I look forward to your new posts next week.

K

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  #302 (permalink)
Maine, USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Favorite Futures: MNQ, MES, M2K
 
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kareem40 View Post
A slump is part of any success in life. The key is to "keep moving forward." I am sure you will do fine soon and I look forward to your new posts next week.

K

I personally find that when I'm in a slump, all it takes is a reminder like yours to make it better (not being as sentimental as that might read). So thank you. This could be the reason why theres a much higher success rate in the prop world, or any organized trading group.

I'll be on my A game next week. Its usually after slumps like these that I become motivated enough to make changes.

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  #303 (permalink)
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Sarasota FL
 
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Zachary Standley View Post
I personally find that when I'm in a slump, all it takes is a reminder like yours to make it better (not being as sentimental as that might read). So thank you. This could be the reason why theres a much higher success rate in the prop world, or any organized trading group.

"Any organized trading group" -- like this one. I find the main thing I get from this forum is exactly this: other traders to talk to, and who will talk to you, who've done or are doing what you are doing, gone through what you're going through, know what you're talking about, provide support when you could use some.

It helps me pick myself up. I hope it does the same for you.

Bob.

When one door closes, another opens.
-- Cervantes, Don Quixote
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  #304 (permalink)
Market Wizard
Boca Raton
 
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Zachary Standley View Post
I personally find that when I'm in a slump, all it takes is a reminder like yours to make it better (not being as sentimental as that might read). So thank you. This could be the reason why theres a much higher success rate in the prop world, or any organized trading group.

I'll be on my A game next week. Its usually after slumps like these that I become motivated enough to make changes.

What we define as a slump is an asset if you learn to understand what elements affect your judgment. For example, you may find that when you are tired or your mind is preoccupied with other factors, you may take more risk than you should reflect in size or frequency of trading.

Matt Z
Optimus Futures

There is a substantial risk of loss in futures trading. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

PM with any questions about optimusfutures (800) 771-6748 (561) 367 8686. THERE IS A SUBSTANTIAL RISK OF LOSS IN FUTURES TRADING.

Last edited by mattz; August 10th, 2019 at 08:42 PM.
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  #305 (permalink)
Maine, USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
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Favorite Futures: MNQ, MES, M2K
 
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Posts: 460 since Sep 2018
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Pre-open analysis:

"How does price react to 2904.25, then 2906.75?"
"How does price react to ~2910?"
"How does price react to ~2895?"

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Today was actually my kind of day, except I didn't take advantage of it:

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I was an instant away from buying as price was edging towards LVN 2893 (the bottom gray line), but part of me wanted to wait to see if that level would even be reached completely, and then if it would be breached. Admittedly, I was "telling myself" to buy at even the very lowest price displayed, but I just didn't / couldn't pull the trigger. I wanted more confirmation. I remember establishing mentally that the next time price gets to 2893.75, I'd buy. Needless to say, it never did.

So my methods of entry need to be explicitly changed based on present market conditions (or I need to only trade under specific conditions). Early of last week, it was favorable to enter pre-maturely, right at a significant level because the volume and volatility was so high that once price got to an important level, responsive or initiative trading would ensue almost immediately. You had to be very quick, if not downright early- ignoring the OrderFlow.

Today on the otherhand, volume and volatility were relatively low. Price respected levels and hung around them long enough for me to enter, except my entry was stuck in last week (we'll probably breach this LVN!..).

On the other hand and honestly, this is the ideal day for me to trade, given my 2 point stop. I may have to limit my trading exclusively to these kind of days. I may just do that.

What I did well:
- I accurately read the OrderFlow by narrating price action.
- I didn't force trades after missing one (like last week). I just stopped trading.

What I did poorly:
- I didn't pull the trigger.

What do I do now?:
- I think I need to explicitly state how a given days conditions will effect my entry as I'm trading. This could be done as I'm narrating price action. For example, today I noticed price bounced off of a level 3-4 times, which prompted me to think I should enter early. When we went further down past that level, I thought maybe I should just wait for price to reach the LVN. Price exhausted, yet I was still waiting. This mental debate of whether I should wait or not needs to be resolved, and I think it will be solved by only sticking to trading under certain conditions, and by entering the same kind of way every time.

But yeah, despite missing that opportunity, I feel way better than I did last week. I'll review todays session before trading tomorrow.

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  #306 (permalink)
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Zachary Standley View Post
This mental debate of whether I should wait or not needs to be resolved, and I think it will be solved by only sticking to trading under certain conditions, and by entering the same kind of way every time.

I've run into same dilemma often, where the price "almost" meets my rules for entry. Sometimes I've entered and done okay but more often I end up with a loser. I think part of that is just discipline as it evolves in a trader but the other part I'm pretty certain is just intuition that tells you when to fudge your own rules. And intuition only comes from years of experience trading and reading charts. I don't have those years under my belt yet so I am trying to be disciplined. And, yes, when a price "almost" meets my criteria, and I stay out, and then it takes off like a rocket, I do grind my teeth a bit. But there will always be another trade, always be another day.

Keep doing the work, making the trades and reviewing it constantly and you'll get there. It is frustratingly slow at times but if it were easy then everyone would be successful at it.

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  #307 (permalink)
Maine, USA
 
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NW Trader View Post
I've run into same dilemma often, where the price "almost" meets my rules for entry. Sometimes I've entered and done okay but more often I end up with a loser. I think part of that is just discipline as it evolves in a trader but the other part I'm pretty certain is just intuition that tells you when to fudge your own rules. And intuition only comes from years of experience trading and reading charts. I don't have those years under my belt yet so I am trying to be disciplined. And, yes, when a price "almost" meets my criteria, and I stay out, and then it takes off like a rocket, I do grind my teeth a bit. But there will always be another trade, always be another day.

Keep doing the work, making the trades and reviewing it constantly and you'll get there. It is frustratingly slow at times but if it were easy then everyone would be successful at it.

Thank you. That's the thing, it's hard for me to instill specific rules when I know that the market isn't discrete in where it stops and turns in regards to important levels, especially with me having such a tight stop: I don't want to be mechanical to the point where I'd always have to buy or sell at a significant level, because I believe there is important information in the OrderFlow that can reveal when the trend is most likely to reverse despite whatever level price may reach. This thought is why I haven't been very consistent in my execution, on top of changing market conditions that I haven't experienced with this strategy, and because of my relatively poor psychology lately. Entering for me has been a process of in-the-moment decision making that's based on OrderFlow guidelines (exhaustion and absorption) and consideration of very recent market conditions, and honestly, I love it- it's just stressful at times, and I think this is mostly due to my inexperience. I just went through making money and losing it, so the attachment thing has come into play. I'm re-working it all out.

As for the intuition thing, I don't think it exists; I think just experience does. If we refer to the event that a trader gets an "ah ha" moment where he randomly thinks the market drops 30 points and then it does, I consider that luck. If a trader looks at a chart and sees something and his body and mind react to it- it's probably for a logical, technical reason that's bringing about the very human reaction. I know when I see an opportunity, especially when I see exhaustion in the OrderFlow, there's at the very least a minor physical reaction. I recognize my edge when I see it. Acting on it is a different story, some of the times, lately.

I definitely believe I can do this. I just need to get my shit together.

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  #308 (permalink)
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Chicago
 
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Zachary Standley View Post
So my methods of entry need to be explicitly changed based on present market conditions (or I need to only trade under specific conditions).


NW Trader View Post
I've run into same dilemma often, where the price "almost" meets my rules for entry. Sometimes I've entered and done okay but more often I end up with a loser. I think part of that is just discipline as it evolves in a trader but the other part I'm pretty certain is just intuition that tells you when to fudge your own rules. And intuition only comes from years of experience trading and reading charts.

So true. I think for me it is a combination of rules being kind of vague, while at the same time, wanting to push myself to expand my playbook. If a losing trade helps me learn then its not such a bad thing, assuming I controlled my risk. I relate whole-heartedly to your statements!


Last edited by snax; August 12th, 2019 at 06:42 PM. Reason: adding thoughts :)
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  #309 (permalink)
Maine, USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
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Posts: 460 since Sep 2018
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I've decided that I'm going to privatize my trading. The main reason for this is that I no longer have the desire to put my progress on display because it inevitably becomes a social posture for me. I find it as gratifying to get "Thank You's" as I did whenever I received likes on Facebook in the past. This may sound silly to some of you, but it's the truth. I've realized that I've been curve-fitting my account of daily trades here to adjust to the possible judgments of the community, which only hurts me in the end. By no means am I saying this is a bad place- because it's not at all- I just know how I operate, and I think this is the best decision for my trading right now.

I will continue to update this journal, but not as frequently as I have been the past 8 months. I won't be posting about my PnL or how many points I made on a given day, because it seems to fuel my attachment to wanting to win and make money. I'll come here to philosophize to the extent that I can, and I will keep everyone who is interested updated on my general progress.


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  #310 (permalink)
TampaFL
 
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Sorry to hear that. I've enjoyed reading your posts. It's funny - I sometimes think about how I am going to explain things since I started my own journal, especially when I screw up an execution, or don't act in a disciplined manner. So I get what you're saying about thinking about what you're going to write affecting your thought process.

But there is one big difference. I don't care what anyone thinks of my trading. That sounds bad, but believe me, I don't mean it that way. I do what I feel is best for me because that's what I need to do to be successful. If somebody likes what I do, great! but if they don't that's OK too. We can go about things in various ways and each find success.

I do hope you post updates on occasion (or more) and I do hope you have the success you are working for. This is a great way to make a living.

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