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shodson's Trading Journal
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shodson's Trading Journal

  #441 (permalink)
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Thursday, October 28th - No gap trades. NQ almost fired a gap trade but it opened 1 tick too high. There were nice size gaps up in all indexes and they all filled nicely, again without me.

I did take a discretionary trade at the end of the day. I was hoping for a move like the end of yesterday as I saw resistance in the TF around 701 being tested and retested and didn't think it would hold, but it did.

I'm getting frustrated as I had some really solid gains this month early in the month and the rest of the month has just been slowly chipping away at those gains. I seriously considered taking the rest of the month off to keep my gains, but who's to say that next month, or next week, or the next 2 months would be the optimal time to start trading again? Who knows how long it would be until the law of averages would catch up with me? I figured if I have a statistical edge I can't try to determine when it will work best or worse for me, you have to trade all of the time and let the probabilities play themselves out. So that's why I kept trading this month. I'm still up for the month, just not as much.

TF: -24 ticks

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  #442 (permalink)
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PMed Shodson

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  #443 (permalink)
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Friday, October 29th - We had small gaps today and I picked up 2 winning gap trades today, one which was an extended target trade that closed at the end of the day near its target.

ES: +4 ticks
NQ: +15 ticks

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  #444 (permalink)
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Hey thanks for this method , I will read on and try to replicate it

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  #445 (permalink)
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October surprise

I went over my October statement and I increased my account 21.5% in October, despite a slumpy last half of the month. The larger monthly portfolio percentage gains over the last couple of months are not the results of using more leverage, rather, it's due to the fact that I look for gap and and first hour trade setups across the 4 major indexes, not just the ES, so I'm taking more signals.

I went through my journal since June and recorded each day's trades, which setup I took and how many ticks each trade yielded. Why June? That was about the time I started automating my gap trading and I wasn't missing trades because I was sleeping in, so I feel that is when I systematically traded the way I trade now.

I know I should have been recording these sorts of things all along and will do this for now on, but I've relied on my journal to be my "official record" thus far. So what did I learn? I'm not sure. Some months the automated trading did well, other months not so much, but the times where it didn't perform well yielded losses much smaller than the period where it did perform well, which is why I'm up over 50% in 2010. Also, my discretionary trades have performed well, but I don't take very many of these trades since I don't sit in front of a trading screen very often. Still, the total P/L from discretionary trades accounts for almost half of my profits, but I spend 10% the amount of time finding these trades as I do setting up gap trades across 4 markets every day.

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  #446 (permalink)
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Monday, November 1st - We had good gap data but the market opened too high out of range for any of my gap strategies to fire a trade at the open. It continued higher and would have stopped me out if I was in the trade. Because the gap guides were so strong, I saw "fade the fail" setups that would have been good but I passed on it as I wasn't sure what sort of targets and stops to shoot for as the market eventually turned around and filled the gaps. I was also fearful since today is the first trading day of the month, which is also a Monday, which, according to my recollections, are very bullish days. At any rate, that trade would have worked out for a nice gain.

On the way down I took a FHG trade to fade the breakdown through the lows of the morning. YM was the best instrument for such a trade but TF broke down first and was almost as good. It hit my target easily and quickly.

TF: +20 ticks

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Last edited by shodson; November 1st, 2010 at 01:22 PM.
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Tuesday, November 2nd - Price didn't open in any favorable gap zones, so no gap trade. They all opened in the D-HO zone, and they all would have stopped out if I had shorted the open.

I took a open range breakout but used a larger target (28 instead of 22) to give me a better risk/reward and put a break-even stop at +24. It went +26 then turned around for a scratch trade. I haven't had a scratch trade in a while. I leave my trades pretty wide open and generally stick to my initial targets and stops, but I don't want a "1-tick wonder" so if I get a couple of ticks from my target I'm happy to take a scratch trade than have it turn around for a full loser, especially if I'm greedily trying to eek out a few more ticks than I should.

TF: 0 ticks

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Last edited by shodson; November 2nd, 2010 at 06:22 PM.
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  #448 (permalink)
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Avoided a B/E re-run of yesterday's trade ahead of FOMC

Wednesday, November 3rd - Similarly to yesterday, there were no good gap setups. Actually, there were, but because FOMC day is usually so bullish I avoided any short GAP setups, no matter how good the gap guides were. Most markets opened with very small up gaps and not very many, if any, favorable short extended target trades anyways.

I took a mediocre setup on the first hour breakout of the lows. This time I was around to see the break, then short the re-entry of the range instead of just entering on the initial break, so I got my risk/reward to 1.0. I almost closed my position after I entered because I felt I entered the trade too hastily and there wasn't enough supporting data from the other markets, but it ended up working out. It almost was another scratch trade like yesterday, but the first push wasn't deep enough to make me go B/E so it did later get another push down ahead of fed announcements FTW.

TF: +29 ticks

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  #449 (permalink)
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Stuck with my plan...for a loss

Thursday, November 4th - We opened with large gaps up, too large for my liking so no gap trade was taken. Good thing because they would have been stopped out. I did try my first real-money "fade the fail" trade on ES since the gap data was so strong but that failed too toward the end of the day.

While I was short with my fade the fail trade I saw nice breakout probabilities to get long, so now I had data that told me to get long when I was short. I decided to stick to my plan, for better or worse, and not be too over reactive.

Once TF broke above its highs I placed a limit order hoping for a small pullback but it hit the target without me, so I canceled my order. Price did come back to where I wanted then went back through the original target again, and then some. So I missed out on another nice TF first-hour breakout trade.

In hindsight I stuck to my original plan and am OK with my loss. If I had kept changing trades around and then lost I would be more upset with myself. Though, if my changes had resulted in profit I'd probably consider myself a champ too

ES: -20 ticks

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  #450 (permalink)
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Friday, November 5th - Markets opened with nominal sized gaps. I did fire an extended target trade in the YM which didn't hit the target but closed out at the end of the day for a small winner.

I later took a TF long breakout trade on a pullback to get 1/1 risk/reward, but it eventually failed as the market had already gone up quite a bit already.

YM: +10 ticks
TF: -32 ticks

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Last edited by shodson; November 6th, 2010 at 10:05 PM.
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