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NW Trader's Journal

  #21 (permalink)
Seattle WA/USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradeStation
Broker/Data: TradeStation
Favorite Futures: CL, YM, ES
 
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Posts: 99 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 132 given, 251 received

Short but sweet Thursday

Today is one of my short trading days, having only about an hour to trade before I go to work.

I usually trade CL only on my short days because it opens earlier than YM and gives me the most amount of time to trade (or find a trade) before I have to shut down and go to work. This morning, CL looked pretty mundane prior to the open so I checked YM to see if anything was occurring there.

Sure enough, price wa being rejected at yesterday's high, had broken the trend line and was offering a pullback setup. I don't normally trade YM prior to the open, but since I had 30 minutes before it opened I decided to give it a whirl and entered on the pullback. It lingered for a couple minutes, then dropped like a rock to my first target at 20 ticks. Then I held back the stop on my second contract as price pulled back again to between 23-38% and stalled. I held my stop because I was already in the money even though there was the temptation to close the trade, take the money and run. As we approached the open I did tighten the stop a bit, figuring volatility would probably get me but I still wanted to give it a chance to run. The opening minute was strangely slow, but then it dropped. I had positioned my second target just above yesterday's low price and it was hit at 0632 for +116 ticks. Price then pulled back and set up again but I knew I had to leave for work soon and I was happy with the one trade I managed to take.

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This nice trade, combined with the disaster I had on Monday, puts me about a dollar to the good for the week!


Today's results:
1 trade
1 winner: $680
Gross P/L $680

Happy trading everyone!

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  #22 (permalink)
Seattle WA/USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradeStation
Broker/Data: TradeStation
Favorite Futures: CL, YM, ES
 
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Posts: 99 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 132 given, 251 received

Freaky Friday

I have said before that I find Friday's strange. I know the markets are not predictable but I just find that nothing acts like it is "supposed" to, or at least not like it does the other four days of the week. Someday I may just cut my trading week to four days and avoid the aggravation, but for now I'll just plow on though!

This morning in CL I missed the first drop out of the OR because I didn't feel the move was confirmed. After some up and down days I finally decided that I am only going to take trades that are confirmed by my Trading Time Frame (TTF). What has happened is that the trade is "almost" confirmed and then I switch over to my Lower Time Frame (LTF)to find an entry. Well, heck, you can always find an entry on the LTF!! Then I make my entry, look back at the TTF only to see that the setup was not complete and I'm stopped out. So, a few days ago I decided I would follow my plan, get the setup confirmed before switching to LTF for entry, even if it meant I would miss some trades. So, this morning I missed the first drop out of the OR because it was not confirmed. However, I did catch the first PB on that move and picked up 12 ticks. So far, so good, especially for a Friday.

CL slowed down so I switched to my other prime market, YM. There I found a PB setting up within the OR. Now, this was 15 minutes after the open so I normally would not trade within the OR at that time. However, price had already penetrated the bottom of the OR so I thought, Hey, I'll just treat this as a normal PB. Well, price had penetrated the OR but it had retreated right back into the OR without confirming a BO. So, for all practical purposes we were still in the OR with no proven direction and I should have stayed the hell out! The trade cost me 20 ticks! My error.

Later I took another PB on YM, but in doing so I violated one of my guidelines that I established earlier in the week and I haven't made it a habit yet. That is, I'm not entering any PBs except the first one in a trend unless the price has pulled back close to the 20SMA. Reviewing my trades recently I found many of my failed PB trades occurred when I entered on the first sign of a PB but it was actually just the first part of a complex PB. So, a new rule which I promptly overlooked this morning. I quickly managed my trade and scratched it for -2 ticks. The price did, in fact, pull back some more so it was a sound decision and confirms my new rule.

YM was wandering so I went back to CL and found what I thought was price failing to penetrate yesterday's low. It had tried twice on my TTF so I set up for a BOF and -- ACK!! -- it wasn't ready to fail yet and I was down another 20 ticks. At this point I'm thinking Freaky Friday, except that Freaky wasn't exactly the word I used. I was down nearly $300 and decided to bag it and go to the gym, maybe pick up a trade when I returned. I got my gym bag packed, started for the door and out of the corner of my eye I see CL making the sudden push up that I had been waiting for. I threw down the gym bag, jumped on the computer and punched my ticket just as the train left the station. Fortunately I was able to ride that one for +34 ticks and basically brought me to just barely over a BE day. And you know what? For a Friday, and for a week that has been full of ups and downs and lessons learned, I was okay with BE.

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This is my 6th week back on my live account and despite a mixed bag of trading, I am still in the black. Over six weeks I made mistakes, been undisciplined, failed to follow my own rules and, fortunately, learned a lot of good lessons. Most of all I am pleased that my risk management has allowed me to make those mistakes and still survive to trade another day. My attitude took a beating after last Friday and then this Monday's tremendous losses, but by midweek I had come to grips with some of my issues and, even if I wasn't reeling in the big trades yet, I felt at peace with where I was on this journey and grateful for all the lessons learned.

Here are today's results as well as the for the week. Have a great weekend everyone! See you back here next week!

Today's results:
5 trades
2 winners: $460
3 losers: ($410)
Gross P/L $50

Week's results:
22 trades
7 winners: $2,230.00
15 losers: $2,178.75
Gross P/L: $51.25

Obviously, when you consider my commissions, I was actually underwater by about $75. My winning percentage was only 32% and yet because my Win/Loss Size Rato was 2.19, I was actually able to break even. Not, however, where I want to be with my winning percentage but a good example of what is possible if you keep your losers low and your winners high. Interesting.

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  #23 (permalink)
Seattle WA/USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradeStation
Broker/Data: TradeStation
Favorite Futures: CL, YM, ES
 
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Posts: 99 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 132 given, 251 received

What am I missing?


I got off to a good start for a Monday and I ended the session on the plus side of things so I don't have real complaint there. However, as I gradually get better at PAT I just get the feeling that I'm missing some critical piece of information. My winners are just fine but I'm still taking too many large losses. I know that no one bats 1000 in this game, but I still feel that something is missing. I don't know if it's volume, COT, DOM or what. I'm not looking for the holy grail, been there, done that. I am looking for additional information that would give a discretionary price action trader a bit of an additional edge. If anyone else who is trading PA has had good experience with something, I'm all ears!

In the meantime, I started out today on CL and traded a very nice breakout pullback that netted 50 ticks. Nice way to start! Then I took a pullback on that same run, it looked perfect, about 50%, back to the 20 SMA, and boom I got hit for a 20 tick loss as the trend changed direction. Then I took a pullback in the new trend and managed to take 30 ticks off of that. So far, so good.

But then I took two more pullbacks on CL, took a 18 tick loss on the first one and managed to scratch the other for +2 when it turned against me. CL seemed erratic so I turned to YM, took what seemed to be a nice pullback and got stung for 30 ticks there.

After those three trades I figured I was out of sync with the market and besides I was almost at my 9:30 target quitting time so I called it a day and went to the gym.

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So I'm okay with the net result but I'm scratching my head a bit. I've only been at this seriously (this time) for just over a year and I know I need more experience, but I also feel that my personal momentum is slowing. I'm going to do some searching and listen to any feedback I get here and see what happens.

Today's results (all net after commissions)
6 trades
3 winners: $802.00
3 losers: ($548.00)
Net P/L: $254.00

Hope everyone had a great day!

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  #24 (permalink)
Seattle WA/USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradeStation
Broker/Data: TradeStation
Favorite Futures: CL, YM, ES
 
NW Trader's Avatar
 
Posts: 99 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 132 given, 251 received

Trend Channels

Today I had to take a remedial lesson about trend channels.

This is one of my short days with only one hour to trade before I leave for work. CL broke out of the bottom of its OR, popped back up and appeared to be setting up a nice breakout pullback. Now, CL was in a trend channel and the setup was at the bottom of the channel. Normally I would not go short at the bottom of a channel -- however, CL had not only broken out of the OR but had also broken below yesterday's high AND the overnight low. Sweet, right? So I went short, the price stalled quickly and I managed to move my stops in time to limit the damage to -10 ticks. Lesson learned: trend channels can be every bit as strong as any other market structure so don't screw with them!!

Then price went up to the top of the channel and I thought, well, if it's going to ACT like a channel, I should TREAT it like one. So when it retreated from the top of the channel I took a breakout failure and entered short. I picked up my first target at +10 ticks. Unfortunately my second target was at the bottom of the channel and price didn't quite make it there and it backed up to my stop which by that time was at +5 ticks.

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So, not a hugely profitable hour but an important reminder was served to me about trend channels and that should be worth something as well.

Today's results (Net including commissions)
2 trades
1 winner: $144
1 loser: $106
Net P/L: $38

Happy trading y'all!

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  #25 (permalink)
Seattle WA/USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradeStation
Broker/Data: TradeStation
Favorite Futures: CL, YM, ES
 
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Posts: 99 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 132 given, 251 received

Humble Pie

Well, this is a terrible way to end the month, but it is what it is! Even after my lesson yesterday about respecting trend lines, I turned right around today and had problems with observing and respecting other structural elements.

On the bright side, I'm still messing around with Globex overnight and after trying Crude Oil, Japanese Yen and the S&P, am finding that the NQ (NASDAQ e-mini) seems to have better price action than anything else I have tried so far. Last night I experimented with 4 trades for +10, -3, -8 and +3. Total results not spectacular but I am still working on a method of trading that because it is a bit different than RTH.

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Then came this morning and I probably should have stayed in bed!
1. Thought there was the opportunity in CL for an Opening Range Imbalance so, even though there was a trend line right below my entry I went short. Sometimes the OR can be volatile and I thought I'd see a quick downward move through the trernd line that I could capture. WRONG!. Fortunately the price stalled long enough for me to scratch at -4 ticks.
2. Tried a pullback on CL but took my entry just as price broke the overnight high. That is structure and I should have waited for confirmation. I didn't and I paid. -14 ticks
3. Thought there was an Opening Range Imbalance in YM so entered long. Price stalled a bit and I scratched the trade for -10 ticks. In this case I was right as the price took off long on the next bar. I didn't beat myself up about that one because I have sat on my maximum stops too many times in the past while a price stumbled around and eventually hit my stops. I have decided that if price isn't moving in my direction within a few bars then I'll do what I can to scratch so that's what I did here.
4.Went back to CL and took a pullback short entry that looked good. Except the range low from before the OR was sitting just below my entry. I really didn't think that structure would cause a problem. WRONG AGAIN! -18 ticks.

By now I had hit my Mandatory Pause where if I am down x amount I have to stop trading, review the charts and figure out what I'm doing wrong. So, I did that and reviewed all the errors I made regarding structure. Then I had breakfast and went back to trading.

5. I saw a decent pullback on YM, sitting between 23-38%, had just pulled back from a resistance zone, so I went short. And boom, the dang thing shot up past the resistance, stopped me out, then dropped into a range for the next two hours. -21 ticks.

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So, if you've been counting those up, you know I took a hit today. Fortunately, it's Wednesday so there's still time to redeem myself before the weekend.

Today's results (including the ETH last night):
9 trades
2 winners: $71 (really!!)
5 losers: ($711)
Net P/L: ($640) after commissions

What can I say. Better days are ahead of me. Happy trading everyone!

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  #26 (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: 522 since May 2010
Thanks: 886 given, 541 received

Looks like they are good set ups and you followed your rules, no worries. You will get back soon. I am sure.
Take care,
K

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  #27 (permalink)
Seattle WA/USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradeStation
Broker/Data: TradeStation
Favorite Futures: CL, YM, ES
 
NW Trader's Avatar
 
Posts: 99 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 132 given, 251 received

The cat made me do it.....

You have to have a sense of humor or this trading stuff will eat you alive! I'd love to be able to say the dog ate my homework today, but I am at least going to blame my loss on the cat. More on that in a moment, but first the ETH session.

I am still working on a Globex ETH trading plan because it moves so differently than the RTH session. I have found that, so far, NQ is the best vehicle for me as it provides more price action than other markets I have observed so far. Last night I was trying a new method, only managed 1 tick. Let's see, $5 less my broker's commission, hmmmm, $2 profit! Well, I won't be quitting my day job any time soon!

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This morning was one of my short days where I have only 1 hour to trade which puts me either 1 hour into CL after the open or 30 minutes into YM after the open, so I usually stick with CL. This morning I was watching a pullback develop, I just had to wait for the close of the 3 minute bar to see if it was valid. About that time I heard the cat whining at the window to come in. I figure I had almost two minutes so I hustled to the door, let in the cat, put down some cat treats (well of course!!) and hot-footed back to the office. Just as I was sitting down I saw the bar closing indicating a trade so I punched the button. In fact, I punched the button so hard it bounced and instead of 2 contracts I had sold four!! Crap, I don't need that much risk! So, I immediately set out to scratch 2 contracts while the price moved in my favor and got out of those two with +6 ticks. Whew! Then I realized that when I sat down in a hurry I had been looking at the 1 minute chart, not the 3 minute chart and my trade was not valid within my rules! While I cursed the cat I watch the price climb toward my other two stops and hit me for -20 ticks, net -14 for the total trade.

A few minutes later I did take another pullback, this one valid, but it seemed to stall and I didn't like what I was seeing. So I moved my first target up and took +6 ticks and left my second stop at -5 ticks just in case the price ran in my direction. It didn't and I was out with +1 net.

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So the day was a comedy, and I took a deep breath and moved on.

Day's results including overnight ETH, net after commissions
3 trades
2 wins: $6 (ROFL!!)
1 loss: ($152)
Net P/L ($146)

I'm taking this out of the cat's food budget!!

Happy trading everyone!

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  #28 (permalink)
Seattle WA/USA
 
Trading Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradeStation
Broker/Data: TradeStation
Favorite Futures: CL, YM, ES
 
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Posts: 99 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 132 given, 251 received

Not a good week....

Yesterday I watched a webinar on range bars and thought they sounded like something that would improve my edge. And a bit of improvement is definitely needed as I've been sliding downwards the past couple of weeks.

So I tried the range bars on Globex last night and on CL and YM today. While there were a couple of nice trades, there were more that were just plain bad. After the session was over this morning I went back and changed my chart to my regular time-based layout to see if I would have taken the same trades. There were a couple that lined up, but I was amazed by how many were taken at precisely the wrong moment according to the time-based chart. I'm sure there are plenty of people successfully using the range, or momentum or Renko or Kagi or WTF ever else there is. For me, I think it was one more "shiny new toy" to play with.

The last couple of weeks have been sobering and costly. I know that I, like many other people on this forum, am trying to beat the 7 year or whatever is the average time to become a profitable trader. I'm studying, working, making mistakes and trying to keep a positive attitude. After 7 weeks back on Live trading I am still ahead in my account but I won't be with another week or two like this. If I don't stop the bleeding soon I will probably move to the micros for awhile. I've spent many weeks on Sim and I just get SAS (Sim Account Syndrome) where I know it's not real money and my actions reflect that fact.

I am still in positive mindset because I know I am trying to beat the odds and coming up short now and then is to be expected. Still, a rational person does have to examine their situation in as cold and harsh a light as possible. I will do a bit of studying this weekend but probably more time doing a bit of meditation, mowing the lawn, barbecuing burgers and basically doing something other than thinking about trading. We shall see what next week brings to me.

I could not even print charts today because when I tried to switch them back to the range chart for printing, TradeStation inserted multiple trades all over the chart that I didn't even take. It has done that once before and of course the IT folks at TS don't know WTF causes it. Reboot, send us your log, can't find the problem, rinse, repeat. Anyway, there are no charts but here are the sad results for today and the week. After all, this is a journal so I have to put in the good, the bad and the incredibly f-ing ugly!!

Today's results:
11 trades including last night's Globex
6 winners: $674
5 losers: ($809)
Net P/L after commissions: ($135)

Week's results:
31 trades
14 winners: $1697
17 losers: ($2326)
Net P/L after commissions: ($629)

I hope some of you were on the other side of my trades and are taking profit into the weekend. Cheers!

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  #29 (permalink)
TampaFL
 
Trading Experience: Master
Platform: TWS
Favorite Futures: ES
 
Posts: 94 since Oct 2017
Thanks: 29 given, 154 received

Doing OK

If you've been trading live for 7 weeks, and overall you are positive, you are doing just fine. We all have bad days and weeks. It's to be expected.

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  #30 (permalink)
Lenox, Ma
 
 
Posts: 171 since Dec 2018
Thanks: 214 given, 428 received


I'll second jba in saying that you are doing great. Just keep on pushing.

I used range/renko bars exclusively for a while and couldn't find any huge advantage with them. Every type of candle displays the same information, just in different ways. I still use range bars in addition to tick and time based charting.

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