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NW Trader's Journal

  #101 (permalink)
TampaFL
 
Trading Experience: Master
Platform: TWS
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 182 since Oct 2017
Thanks: 97 given, 372 received

Great job Mike!

Two thoughts:

1) If you are scalping 5 ticks, set your ATM to move when it gets to 6. This assures you are filled before moving to BE.

2) I don't know your setup, so this may not be possible, but see if you can use an indicator, set an alarm, use a filter, something else, to identify at a glance if a particular market will provide a usable setup. Then you only have to watch the one(s) that are potentially going to trigger. Of course you will still need to monitor the other(s) on occasion to see if anything has changed, depending on how much of a heads up your "early warning system" gives you.

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  #102 (permalink)
Seattle WA/USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Broker/Data: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: CL, YM, ES
 
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jba1962 View Post
Great job Mike!

Two thoughts:

1) If you are scalping 5 ticks, set your ATM to move when it gets to 6. This assures you are filled before moving to BE.

2) I don't know your setup, so this may not be possible, but see if you can use an indicator, set an alarm, use a filter, something else, to identify at a glance if a particular market will provide a usable setup. Then you only have to watch the one(s) that are potentially going to trigger. Of course you will still need to monitor the other(s) on occasion to see if anything has changed, depending on how much of a heads up your "early warning system" gives you.

JB,
Good ideas. I did try that with the ATM but I was sort of hung up on the simultaneous change. I'll get over that. :-) Also, I am monkeying around with a couple stages of trailing stops to see if that might work better.

Yes, the alert is a good idea and I may work on that. I did set up a separate work space that has small charts of all the instruments I follow that let me see enough to know when to switch over to the main chart. It all works fine but there is still the distraction from one chart or another. I do like the experience of following just one instrument because, as I said, I seldom miss a setup and I can get very comfortable with the price action. But, when nothing is happening, then I go browsing!

Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated! Enjoy your weekend.

Mike
NW Trader

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  #103 (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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Daily profit limits


If I may add. I think one of the keys of my consistent trading for the last year or so is having and sticking with daily profit targets for the day. Mine is still $200. I honestly believe that trailing stops and trying to get the most out of each trading is what has been most harmful to me in the past. Just make your day and stop. And if you are trading ES/NQ/YM $200 is and can be easy and doable, even with small account.
And, only hit the balls you can and aim for first base. Forget about the home runs. Trust me, this has been and is a game changer, for me, in trading.

Take care,
K

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  #104 (permalink)
Seattle WA/USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Broker/Data: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: CL, YM, ES
 
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Posts: 184 since Sep 2018
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kareem40 View Post
If I may add. I think one of the keys of my consistent trading for the last year or so is having and sticking with daily profit targets for the day. Mine is still $200. I honestly believe that trailing stops and trying to get the most out of each trading is what has been most harmful to me in the past. Just make your day and stop. And if you are trading ES/NQ/YM $200 is and can be easy and doable, even with small account.
And, only hit the balls you can and aim for first base. Forget about the home runs. Trust me, this has been and is a game changer, for me, in trading.

Take care,
K

Thanks K, I appreciate hearing that because that is one aspect of trading that I go back and forth on like a damn ping pong ball! I just recently posted that I was going to try a $200 daily goal, then I revised my trading strategy and the very first day back (Wednesday) I took 39 ticks on CL on my first trade but then kept trading ending up with over $600 in profits. Now, some of that was because I had a new strategy (a shiny new toy!) that I wanted to keep playing with. But some of it reverts back to my long-held, original theory that the market will do whatever it's going to do and all a trader can do is work the edge they have. Some days that will mean a loss and some days a nice profit. That said, my feeling has been that by quitting at some nominal amount the trader is not taking advantage of a day when his edge just happens to be working well. And, those days will, hopefully, balance out those days when the edge is just not working in current market conditions and the trader either makes very little or, worse, takes the inevitable loss.

When I have used a target, I'll have to admit that it is a nice feeling to make a trade or two, hit that target, then close down the computer and go on with my day with a nice feeling of "job well done". As I've said, it is a dilemma but I appreciate knowing that you use a target because you've been doing this for awhile and you do seem to be in a consistent rhythm.

Much appreciated, K. Have a great weekend!

Mike
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  #105 (permalink)
Seattle WA/USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Broker/Data: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: CL, YM, ES
 
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Posts: 184 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 293 given, 574 received

The Trading Gods were Kind....

I should complete the title of this entry by saying "The Trading Gods were Kind to an Idiot!!" This morning was absolutely fascinating and, in retrospect, sort of funny and fun.

I started out this week with the intention of sticking to a daily goal of $200 as suggested by @kareem40. I have tried this off and on, but decided I would seriously try this for at least a couple weeks. @kareem40 has said that it is one thing that has definitely helped him toward consistency as a trader. The idea is that once you hit your daily goal you are done trading and step away until the next day. Last week, as I initiated my new strategy, I had a couple days where my first trade of the day would have met or exceeded that daily goal, so I thought "Well, this may be sort of boring if I make two or three trades and then have to quit". Now, keep that ego-laden thought in mind and you can see where my first morning with a goal descended into some sort of hilarious trader's hell.

The markets all seemed slow this morning and my preferred setups were not coming around. I did find a couple trades in GC and ES that did have me up by about $150 a couple hours into the session. Of course, now I was looking for just an "easy" +$50 trade to finish off the day. I entered an ES trade only to realize immediately afterward that one on my trend indicators had gone negative while I was waiting to pull the trigger. So I scratched and was down $50, and now needing to find that "easy" +$100 trade to finish the day.

Now I use two indicators to help me judge the strength of a trend. The actual trade setup and entry is strictly price action, but a strong trending environment is critical. As I instituted this new strategy last week I laid down some iron-clad rules that I knew would cause me to miss some trades but that hopefully would give me a high winning percentage. On my very next trade this morning, with that "easy" trade looming, I fudged both my indicators to enter a CL trade that was "just barely" outside of my rules. It went south in a hurry and hit my stops. And at that time I realized that I had clicked on the wrong ATM to use for my stop strategy and ended up not with a 20 tick loss, but with a 32 tick loss! So instead of being up an "easy" $100, I'm down a miserable $320!

I usually knock off trading at around 9:30 (PT) and head for the gym. Today, however, with that $200 goal still hanging in front of me, and now down over $200, I decided this would be a trading day. So I set in to finding trades, following rules, winning some, losing some, and in the process learning a heck of a lot about my new strategy. Nothing like a marathon trading session to work out the bugs!

I usually book 4-6 trades on my full days. At the end of today's session, which didn't end until almost noon, I booked 11 trades. That's why there's no charts today, it would take up a whole page! When all was accounted for though, I had recovered from the loss and with the last trade exceeded my $200 goal, and that's when I called it a day.

Granted, it was a careless error followed by a stupid decision and another careless error that put me in the hole in the first place. But what I found interesting was the incentive provided by the daily goal to keep going instead of just going to the gym and booking the loss as I have done in the past. I have often said that the most interesting things I have learned while trading are not so much about trading as about my own mind and behavior. That's what keeps it so fascinating!

So, my thanks (I think! ) to @kareem40 for his inspiration and example.

Today's results:
11 trades
6 winners: $855
5 losers: ($615)
Gross P&L: $240 before commissions & fees

Really looking forward to the rest of the week! Happy trading everyone!

Mike
NW Trader

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  #106 (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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Posts: 653 since May 2010
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Hi Mike,
I am very glad to see that you hit your goal and thank you for the mention. I promise having a daily goal has helped me tremendously. I just had an argument with another friend elsewhere concerning this very topic. He is still a very successful trader, and never daily targets! I look forward to daily goal for both of us.
Take care,

K

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  #107 (permalink)
Seattle WA/USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Broker/Data: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: CL, YM, ES
 
NW Trader's Avatar
 
Posts: 184 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 293 given, 574 received

Today was a short day with only an hour to trade. Nothing set up for awhile but finally ES offered an entry that didn't go anywhere but was good for 4 ticks anyway.
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Then, just beofre I had to head for work, GC set up what appeared to be a breakout from its OR. It was weak and had not really confirmed the breakout, but all indications were positive. I knew I had time for only one more trade and entered the trade knowing it was weak. And it was and it cost me -16 ticks.
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Today's Results:
2 trades
1 winner $50
1 loser ($160)
Gross P&L: ($110)

Ah well, there's always tomorrow. Happy trading everyone!

Mike
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  #108 (permalink)
Seattle WA/USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Broker/Data: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: CL, YM, ES
 
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Posts: 184 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 293 given, 574 received

Out of sync

Once again work obligations have been interfering with my real life. No, wait, that doesn't sound right. Any way, you know what I mean. So, I've had some time to trade but not enough time to copy charts and post in my FIO journal. What trading I have done has been up and down, just can't seem to get in sync with the market. Bottom line, I am down $565 for the week so far. Friday's are not notoriously great trade days for me so I don't expect to make that up tomorrow, but I will be trading and trying to get back into some positive trades.

Hope everyone else is having a good week!

Mike
NW Trader

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  #109 (permalink)
Seattle WA/USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Broker/Data: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: CL, YM, ES
 
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Posts: 184 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 293 given, 574 received

It was a decent trading day today, especially for a Friday. I didn't salvage the week but I didn't expect to, and I did have some nice trades.

I started out with the ES and picked up two pullbacks, one for 21 ticks and one for just 4.
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ES calmed down a bit so I turned to GC. The first setup was nice and returned 28 ticks. The second I went in to the pullback too early and lost 22 ticks, and then picked up 5 ticks on my final trade of the day.
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Today's trades:
5 trades
4 winners $642.50
1 loser ($220.00)
Gross P&L $422.50

Going to continue doing some chart studies over the weekend, continuing my quest to refine the trades if possible.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Mike
NW Trader

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  #110 (permalink)
Seattle WA/USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Broker/Data: NinjaTrader
Favorite Futures: CL, YM, ES
 
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Posts: 184 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 293 given, 574 received


Off to a rough start for the week.
Today's results:
5 trades
2 winners: $105
3 losers: ($600)
Net P&L: ($495)

I found myself having negative thoughts about the whole trading experience over the past couple weeks. And negative thoughts are not something I usually indulge in. In a nutshell, I have, through reading, studying, taking courses and so forth, found several trading strategies that work pretty well "some" of the time. Now, when things get tough I find myself switching from one strategy to another, or even parts of one strategy added to another and so it is natural that my results are inconsistent. Not only that, but because I am not sticking to one strategy it is becoming impossible to tell what is working and what is not.

I feel like I need to back up the truck a little bit and try to decide on a particular strategy and move ahead with just that one thing for awhile. And while that makes sense, the problem is going to be "which" strategy to move ahead with. I am going to have to give all this some thought because I feel like I'm just drifting around at the moment.

Mike
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