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My MES Live Account Journal (OneUp)
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My MES Live Account Journal (OneUp)

  #21 (permalink)
Holladay, Utah, USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
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Favorite Futures: NQ YM
 
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What a beautiful thing

I finished off Friday with a bang. I waited until AFTER the NFP report and traded the consolidation that followed. $500+ in 13 trades.

Here is the current net profit graph of my live MES Capital account. The x axis is the days traded since account was opened:

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And as I said I would, I have added these 4 desired behaviors to my spreadsheet. Let's see how I do.
Behaviors to track

1. Did I trade only during regular trading hours?
2. Did I place an emergency stop on 100% of my trades?
3. Did I get out "immediately" if I determined a trade was going against me?
4. What was the largest Negative Excursion?

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  #22 (permalink)
Sarasota FL
 
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sstheo View Post
As mentioned, there is nothing to pay with MES Capital for data feed.

What do those professional data feed fees cost each month?

And why would anyone consider someone on TST a professional unless they were credentialed? It seems punitive.


trendisyourfriend View Post
I think the CME considers you are a pro when your trade other people's money.

Not to fill up @sstheo's thread with a lot of irrelevant stuff, but since the question came up....

When CME raised their professional data fees some years ago (it's now $105/month or any part thereof), there was a lot of back-and-forth here about the fees and about TST's decision to have their traders pay them.

The most amazing ideas of what constitutes a "professional" have been offered as part of this discussion. We finally tracked down what CME means by it. Note that it's not necessarily what other exchanges may use, and is not what IRS uses, and may not exactly make sense (especially if you don't want to pay it ), but it's how they do it.

If you read the whole thing, they are basically defining who is a Non-Professional, not who is a Professional. They include just about everything, including the kitchen sink, that you cannot be doing if you're a non-pro; if you are doing any of them, you are a pro. That's kind of round-about, but don't blame me . I highlighted some of the interesting parts:

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(Source: https://www.cmegroup.com/market-data/distributor/files/exhibit-a-to-schedule-4-non-pro-self-cert-form.pdf )

You can see it's complicated. The short answer is fairly close to how @trendisyourfriend put it, but it looks like if you are a professional by some criteria (look at point (d)), then you'd still be a professional even if you are currently only trading your money (points (f) and (g).) They also reserve the right to stick you with it any time they want to.

Basically, they really just want to charge you if you're not a retail trader trading only your money or that of a specific type of small business. (Many traders trade out of LLC's they set up for various reasons, or trade family trust money, etc.) And no, these criteria are not necessarily 100% consistent, or at least aren't totally clear, but don't blame me for that either.

I personally think both that (1) TST should just pick the fees up and (2) that a profitable trader would basically just shrug the fees off ($105 = just over 8 ticks on 1 ES contract, a very small trade, and it's just once a month.) Not that I'd want to pay it, though, unless I had to.

Bob.

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  #23 (permalink)
Holladay, Utah, USA
 
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Bob, thanks for the thorough explanation of the issue. Nicely done.

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  #24 (permalink)
Holladay, Utah, USA
 
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Time to Slay the Beast

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SLAY the BEAST! Like many traders, I lost a TON of $ many years ago when I started trading. My emotions and account were manipulated by the big boys. But this is the nature of the beast!

13 years later I am still trying to slay that monster. I did not flee in terror. Unfortunately, there is no way to beat the professionals. YOU MUST BECOME ONE YOURSELF.

You either have to (1) become an emotion-less robot (by running algorithms) or (2) become a discretionary trader who tries to see the fear and greed in the market and do the opposite of the crowd or (3) use algorithms for signals and make your own final trade decisions.

One of the problems of algos is that the market volatility and overall bias changes daily and so algorithms often fail spectacularly immediately after optimization.

I prefer a strictly discretionary approach.

But it really doesn't matter which style you use, as long as you MASTER your emotions, find your edge, look long term (be patient with your progress), and remain fully disciplined to your own rules.

Success to you in your quest..

(Image from a game called Titan Quest by Iron Lore and published by THQ in 2006)

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  #25 (permalink)
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You WILL get killed. It's all a question of "How badly?"

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STOPS. Anyone can "predict" market direction. But profitable money management (focusing on sizing and good exits) is the elusive component in the quest to become and remain a long-term LIVE trader.

I have had my live MES account for 3 weeks now and have almost reached the $4000 profit mark. My biggest daily loss was about -$400, but my worst single trade was a whopping -$685. I did not follow my plan that day!

Part of the big problem is that the volatility in the market right now is huge. Fed rates, tariffs, Trump tweets, Brexit, etc, etc. The list goes on forever. But this is no excuse for me to lose money consistently. I must stay alive. This is the game.

I have stepped onto the court, and now I must ADAPT OR DIE. It certainly feels like a massive "dodge ball" game where the enemy is on both sides of you hurling balls at your legs, back and face!

Surviving in the ever-changing market is certainly not easy. Trend up? Trend down? Consolidation in a range? How to trade? How to take losses?

Once you enter a trade you are at the mercy of the market. And it's not about "Will I get killed?" You WILL get killed!!! It's about -how badly- were you killed. And sometimes you will do the killing.

But your survivability is a balance called "Expectancy" which is simply the Average Profit per trade (it comes from the formula "Win% x Average Winner - Lose% x Average Loser"). So you have just 3 components to worry about: win/loss rate, the size of your winners, and the size of your losers. You must work on all three.

I am working right now on reducing the size of my losers. My mental stop has been about $300, but I will now change that to a fixed stop of $100. This will drop my win rate down from about 90% to probably 70% or less, but my overall losses should drop as well.

BUT I am going one step further. I am not going to simply wait until my stop loss is hit. That $100 is an emergency stop, and I will try to keep it from being hit. How? The moment I determine a trade is moving against me (or does nothing for about 3 minutes) I am going to go flat. This is a really hard thing to do because you have to ADMIT YOU WERE WRONG. And most traders would rather be right than profitable long term, and unless you flip the equation you may be doomed to failure. "Cut your losses quickly and let your winners run!" they always say. But it is so hard to do!.

I will do my best this week to get out "immediately" when a trade goes against me. Let's see how bloody I am next weekend.

(Picture from the 2018 US National Collegiate Dodge Ball tournament)


Last edited by sstheo; April 7th, 2019 at 12:01 PM. Reason: picture attribution error
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  #26 (permalink)
Holladay, Utah, USA
 
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End of week report

Here is my report for the last 5 trading days.

1. I am sad to report that I kept my new rules for just one day this week. The goals were to trade only during regular trading hours, always enter a stop, and always get out immediately if a trade goes against me more than a few ticks. I tried, but still have a way to go. This is so hard! Especially when we get a big spike that I KNOW is about to reverse. I need to rethink these goals.

2. I had a great trading week and am closing in on the $5000 mark now at $4,846.

3. My average daily net profit is fairly flat at $230 per day

4. I have increased my average gross profit per position up to $27 from $20. This is a 30% increase. This is the number I am most happy about. It means I am cutting my losses faster and holding on to my winners longer.

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Last edited by sstheo; April 12th, 2019 at 06:01 PM. Reason: Fixed avg gross profit numbers
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  #27 (permalink)
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Just to say, well done on your results and a nice job on your analysis of your ongoing performance. Very impressive

Trading, ideally structured, is a vehicle for expanding consciousness, not damaging it. - Brett Steenbarger
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  #28 (permalink)
Holladay, Utah, USA
 
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Clarification on Max daily draw down for MES/OneUp

@matthew28 Thanks for the nice comments.

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

Clarification:

I previously suggested that if I hit my the DAILY max draw down of $1,250 that my account would be closed.

But I talked with MES Capital, and they said that if I hit my max daily draw down then I will be unable to trade the live account for the rest of the day, but that my account will still be active.

Therefore, my account is safe from closure then unless I hit the $50k account floor, trade through prohibited news events, use more positions than allowed, etc.

Right now this is not a big deal, but I was really concerned about this for when I get up to 6 contracts (the max on the $50k account). $1,250 is just $200 per contract, and that could be hit so easily in this volatile trading environment.

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  #29 (permalink)
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Intraday Scaling on my $50k MES Capital Live account

I have completed my first month and have almost reached a comfortable enough level to add a second position. Since I am now close to $5k in profit, I realized that I COULD take 6 positions.

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My most important trading goals: Survive and Thrive

#1 Goal: Capital Preservation. I want to protect my capital and stay alive!
#2 Goal: Profits. I want to increase the size of my account

I watched a great video from Stage5 Trading (FutresTrader71) where the prop-trading broker showed how one of his traders started with the max # of contracts each day, but then had to trade with fewer each time he dropped below certain fixed thresholds (anti-Martingale!). He said something like this--"If he hits the daily stop loss, I want him to be going out with just one contract, not six. Most people do it backwards."

Intrigued, I decided to take my actual trade data for the first month and run some scenarios, assuming a repeat performance and assuming all-in, all-out trading with size scaling. I ran three different styles, automatically reducing or adding contracts as appropriate:
  • Progressive scaling, where I start with one and go up to six, being rewarded for good trades.
  • Combo scaling, where I started with 3 and add or subtract based on performance.
  • Regressive scaling, where I start with the max and reduce the contracts when doing poorly.

In each case, I tested several different ladder settings ($25 to $200) for adding or removing contracts with the next trade.

Before starting, based on all 249 trades taken so far, I determined that my best setting for a fixed emergency stop is not $100 as mentioned previously, but $150, and that is what I used here. I used Gann's suggestion to remove the worst 15% of trades and set the stop just above the 80% draw down mark.

One of the most important factors was not hitting the $1,250 max intraday draw down. So in a separate calculation, I also ran a worst-case scenario where hit my fixed $150 stop 4 times in a row with the max contracts, following the scaling plan to see what happened. All were fine except the Regressive model which exceeded the max daily draw down by only $100, so I think it is fine.

Results

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The $25 contract scaling ladder step size seemed best balance in all three cases.

Profits? The Progressive scaling gave $27k, the Combination gave $35k, and the Regressive scaling gave almost $40k!

I made "just" $5k this last month, and $40k sounds pretty crazy awesome. HOWEVER . . . I don't yet trust myself enough to make such a drastic change. Despite the awesome results, I will still start with just 2 contracts.

And even though I could jump right in with 2 contracts on the Regressive model, I really like the idea of REWARDING myself with another contract for good trading like in the Progressive model, instead of PUNISHING myself for bad trading.

I like all three models though, and I can easily see myself going through a sequence from lowest risk to highest risk as my confidence rises and as my success continues: Progressive, Combo, Regressive, and Regressive with larger tiers.

Regarding the entries and exits, because my style is so fast, I may just do "all in-all out" rather than having several entry and exit places, but we will see.

It is very fun to see the effects of added positions, but it is a double edged sword. The average trade profit really needs to stay up there in the $25+ range for things not to go south fast.

-Steve


Last edited by sstheo; April 13th, 2019 at 10:34 PM. Reason: Spelling error
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  #30 (permalink)
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I like the idea of the Regressive sizing. I must have watched a similar video a while ago because I have a screenshot I took from it.
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At least if you start with a string of losses like above one is losing less and less on each trade and can then increase as the day's balance gets back to and above zero. I wouldn't think of scaling back as "punishing myself for bad trading" but instead exercising a tested risk management model that will allow you to be more profitable over time yet ride out inevitable drawdowns.

The trouble with the Progressive model is that if making money straight from the start then knowing that when the first loss comes it will be on the largest size of the day but each of the previous wins will have been on lower size.

Also agree with only going up to two lots when you are ready. I remember somebody saying that the largest increase in size they recommend is when a person goes from 1 to 2 lots (100% increase). And then increase again only if profitable at that size level.

Trading, ideally structured, is a vehicle for expanding consciousness, not damaging it. - Brett Steenbarger
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