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shodson's Trading Journal

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  #491 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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@shodson, how is your custom-tweaked performance vs. just following MTG flat out? Do you have some type of side-by-side comparison in that regard?

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  #492 (permalink)
 shodson 
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Big Mike View Post
@shodson, how is your custom-tweaked performance vs. just following MTG flat out? Do you have some type of side-by-side comparison in that regard?

Mike

No, I have not. My style is so far deviated from how the MTG moderator trades that it would be hard to compare. He uses a lot of discretion in his position sizing and he doesn't always publish his exact sizing, or even his relative sizing (sometimes says "1/2 size trade" but not always, often says "reduced position" but not known how reduced). He also only gap trades ES where I will fade any good-looking gap in any of the 4 equity indexes.

I know gap trading overall has been a little rough for him this year because of his discretionary money management, moving stops after getting near gap fill, then getting stopped out on a pullback, then eventually filling the gap, but he still believes that over time it's better in the long run to do it that way.

Needless to say that my approach is much more mechanical than his.

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  #493 (permalink)
 shodson 
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Still studying this a lot. Some interesting plays this morning looking at volume speed near S/R. Good for a few scalps.


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 shodson 
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I tried to take a fade of the morning lows, which was a winner, but I went for an improved entry 2 ticks lower than the prescribed system entry. The system would have gone long at 1220.25 for a 4pt target and a 5pt stop, but I put in a limit order at 1219.75 for a 4.5pt stop/4.5pt target. It came back down to 1220.00 and then went up and hit the target. This screenshot was taken just before I canceled my order, 1 tick from the target, but it did hit the 1224.25 target about an hour later.





I had a similar problem last Friday, trying to buy a pullback after TF broke its morning highs, but it took off and hit it's target without me as well.




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 shodson 
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Tuesday, December 7th - No gap trades, market opened up very high up, out of my safe 40% range and I passed, even though the gap guide data was favorable for fading gaps. Sure enough, the markets opened near the highs of the day and the gaps did fill at the end of the day in most index futures markets for what would have been very profitable gap trades with almost no heat.

I took a first-hour trade, shorting NQ on the break of the lows. I felt good that even though I didn't take the gap trade, there were good gap guide setups (> 60% win rate, PF > 1.5) showing there was a good chance the gap would fill, and my trade was in the direction of gap fill. I got in with a little bit of a pullback, but the market went up to run my stop + 3 ticks, then turned around and hit my target as expected.

NQ: -38 ticks




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  #496 (permalink)
 shodson 
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I'm seriously considering that maybe I should not be day trading anymore. Day trading really requires watching the markets intraday, watching key S/R levels, news, and intraday trends. I do believe that having some statistical history in your favor can lead to profits, but I'm not sure I want to trade this way anymore.

Even though I've had success so far, the fact that I've given up most of my gains of the past 3 months in just a week or two is very discouraging. I'm not really mad or upset, just numb. I don't look forward to the next trading day. I don't enjoy it as much. Setting up my trades is just yet another chore/thing to do. Maybe that is a sign of maturity because I'm not getting emotionally worked up with greed and excitement. On the other hand, all of this time I put into it seems to be a waste if I'm not pulling out the kind of profits I hope for that would make it worth my while. I have a mortgage, a wife, 3 ten year-old kids and 4 pets, so my time is very valuable. If I was back in my 20s again, single, living with my parents I wouldn't even think like this, but the fiscal demands of reality are catching up with me. I'm not wiped out, not broke, I have my capital and am still positive on the year, but perhaps I'm out of mental capital.

I've been thinking about trading forex or forex futures (6's and DX) on 4hr, 12hr or daily time frames and have developed some strategy ideas that can be successful. Also, I used to trade a lot of options, but switched to futures once I discovered Ninjatrader, but after a year and a half into hacking Ninja and reading all kinds of books, blogs, and learning how to manage risk I feel I'm much wiser about trading and perhaps a higher time-frame would be better suited for me since I still work a "normal" consulting job and can't watch the markets all day long. Plus, on higher time frames I can incorporate some fundamental biases more easily once I go over the news events that I think impact the markets.

I feel all of the technical analysis skills I've learned can be applied to higher time frames, and they seems to work better with higher time-frame markets that trend better and I'd only have to peek at the market a few times a day. The one thing I do remember that I didn't like about trading stocks/options on a higher time frame was that I would often go to sleep worrying about my positions and would lose sleep. I've liked being all-cash every night with day trading. However, using stop losses and using some hedging strategies (options, futures, VIX, pairs, etc) I can more readily manage my risk better than I used to before.

What do you think? Am I just sulking/whining over spilled milk, or is it time for a reality check?

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  #497 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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@shodson,

My thoughts.

1) Why not adjust your strategy to have something like 3-to-1 reward/risk ratios? So that a few bad trades won't nuke 3 months of good trades.

2) Moving to higher time frames -- nothing will prevent the same 'few bad trades' from nuking all your good trades on a bigger time frame. What I mean is the time frame is irrelevant to issue #1 and what you said you were discouraged about. Time frame is a separate item here. You have to solve the risk/reward stuff first. I've been moving to bigger and bigger trades on CL over the months. I was once targeting 6 and 12 ticks, now almost every trade is for 50 ticks. So sure, bigger time frames can really help you trade less which can reduce stress, free up your life a bit, etc. But if you aren't "ready" for it then you can just cause the opposite -- more stress -- due to the much bigger ($) stops required to trade bigger time frames like a 4h chart.

3) Forex? A good chef can cook in any kitchen. I don't think you need to go to Forex. That is a distraction, a scapegoat in my opinion. I see ads from forex brokers who will "double your initial deposit!"... just sign up today... lol. OMG, run. Sure there are reputable forex dealers out there.... but I feel like you are running away saying you want to look at forex. Stick with futures. Trade currency futures, stay away from Forex itself.

Sum it up -- use your experience. Make small refinements. Don't just throw out everything in your kitchen because you have a few dull knives in the drawer. (I'm hungry, can't you tell?). Trading is about small consistent improvements, not huge radical changes. Stick with what you know and just make some refinements.

And yes, I would be discouraged as well if I gave up 3 months of profit in 3 days. I've been there. Many times. Before I finally woke up and abandoned automation. That was my answer. Stop trying to automate. Take what I know and trade it manually. Most people I know automate because they have no self control/discipline. Or they say they automate because they don't want to be hovering over the computer all the time. You've got to be joking. Those are terrible excuses. I don't know your feelings on the subject, but I am telling you from my own personal direct experience - I wasted a huge amount of time trying to perfect automation. When I finally, finally, finally (took three times) gave it up, I actually started making some good money trading. The change I made was not in what or how I traded, it was in taking accountability and ownership for my own trades instead of writing a strategy to do it which somehow let me disassociate myself from the result.

Thanks for sharing, and I hope you get some good feedback that will help you make some good decisions. Stick with it my friend!

Mike

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 incometrade 
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I'm sure your just frustrated and a little discouraged, but what you have been doing has worked in the past, there is going to be a time when things don't. If this is not your primary source of income, maybe step back re-evaluate you plan,technique, but don't change it, and start fresh the new year. Keep your head up!

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 rtrade 
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shodson View Post
I'm seriously considering that maybe I should not be day trading anymore. Day trading really requires watching the markets intraday, watching key S/R levels,

Why quit? Well, you got that correct...it does require you to watch the market...would you rather have a broker watch it for you? It's your business....but fret not, I have a possible solution to your lack of motivation. I can motivate you like a Marine Corps Drill instructor, but you might not see that it's for your good.



shodson View Post
Even though I've had success so far, the fact that I've given up most of my gains of the past 3 months in just a week or two is very discouraging. I'm not really mad or upset, just numb. I don't look forward to the next trading day. I don't enjoy it as much. Setting up my trades is just yet another chore/thing to do.

Oh my, you do need some futures.io (formerly BMT) members intervention...trust me we all go through that...even athletes go through that...it's called a "SLUMP." But don't worry you'll break out of it.


shodson View Post
I have a mortgage, a wife, 3 ten year-old kids and 4 pets, so my time is very valuable. I'm not wiped out, not broke, I have my capital and am still positive on the year, but perhaps I'm out of mental capital.

Geez you brought up the house, wife and kids....and the pets. Yup, it sure sounds like your OUT of mental capital....so what does Money Management 101 say? "Preserve Profits." So if you're live trading (I don't know if you are or not, but if you are...) STOP!!! Mentally your not SAFE to trade LIVE, but on a SIM you are.


shodson View Post
I've been thinking about trading forex or forex futures (6's and DX) on 4hr, 12hr or daily time frames and have developed some strategy ideas that can be successful. Also, I used to trade a lot of options, but switched to futures once I discovered Ninjatrader, but after a year and a half into hacking Ninja and reading all kinds of books, blogs, and learning how to manage risk I feel I'm much wiser about trading and perhaps a higher time-frame would be better suited for me since I still work a "normal" consulting job and can't watch the markets all day long. Plus, on higher time frames I can incorporate some fundamental biases more easily once I go over the news events that I think impact the markets.

Oh LORD, another one thinking the grass is greener on the other side. Please remember Higher Time Frame is HIGHER RISK? So I say NO! for now anyways.


shodson View Post
I feel all of the technical analysis skills I've learned can be applied to higher time frames, and they seems to work better with higher time-frame markets that trend better and I'd only have to peek at the market a few times a day. The one thing I do remember that I didn't like about trading stocks/options on a higher time frame was that I would often go to sleep worrying about my positions and would lose sleep. I've liked being all-cash every night with day trading. However, using stop losses and using some hedging strategies (options, futures, VIX, pairs, etc) I can more readily manage my risk better than I used to before.

REALLY?!! Do you really believe that? Why don't you prove to yourself that you can apply your technical analysis skills on a smaller time frame FIRST...Trust me, you'll SLEEP a lot better.


shodson View Post
What do you think? Am I just sulking/whining over spilled milk, or is it time for a reality check?

Sulking?....ya; Whining?...kinda; Time for a reality check? Yes, but not what you may think....you're in futures.io (formerly BMT), you're among members that care! The REALITY CHECK is YOU CAN TRADE and YOU WILL TRADE. Like I said, I may have a SOLUTION....if you're willing...well I gave up my video card installation to give my 2 cents on your matter...if you don't like it...it's cool, no worries.

Change your avatar...it tells me you make things too complicated...pick one of your pets or something SIMPLE.

Let's get back to the beginning, like me a beginner. Back to basics...ok? I went to your first post of this thread and this was the only thing that struck out to me considering your situation.


shodson View Post
7/29 -
...I started just trading 1 contract on each, then later trading 2, 1 scalper and 1 runner (12-16 tick targets). I was up about $330 at one point in the day...... as I like to just trade the opening hour (6:30-7:30am Pacific time) ...

hmmm, so you just LIKE to trade the opening hour (6:30-7:30am Pacific time) maybe you can even stretch that time to 2hrs...I'm sure your "house, wife, kids, and pets" can do without you for 2hrs, yes?...ok, I won't push it...1hr...there...JUST TRADE 1 HOUR A DAY....BE GREEDY for 1 HOUR!!!

hmmm, $330/day equals, not including vacation and holidays, over $85,000.00/year Are you beginning to getting you excited now!!! huh?!!! You can buy a lot of PET FOOD with that chunk of cash

Ok, how?...well, all I'm going to give you is the frame work and the rest is up to you and other futures.io (formerly BMT) members to assist. I took the liberty of looking at your latest chart. Since you were trading NQ and I'm familiar with it I picked it. I noticed that you like Volume and candles for price action. NOW I don't know your STYLE of trading but I can make suggestion that might help you. I reproduced your charts and provided you with a 15minute and a 5 minute side by side.

The only difference is that I changed your VOLUME to the ON BALANCE VOLUME. Please ask Mike about it because created it on one of his threads...I don't personally use it, I can make it work for me if I wanted to. Remember, I'm just trying to keep your style of trading. And I you seem to be inconsistent in your entries. So let's look at the chart I attached.

First of all, if you are using the 15 minute as entry for day trading...in my humble opinion...it's too LARGE. That is why I included a 5 minute so you can see a side by side comparison.

A. is the basic opening candle...you can clearly see the OBV signal short for both 15 min and 5 min which corresponds with a big red short candle.

B. is where you took the LONG...as you can see the 5 min gave you a profit, briefly, because the 5 min OBV turn long; But the 15 min OBV is still short...so it's good but expect to TAKE PROFITS Quickly.

C. is where both 15 min and 5 min OBV turns long....BUY BUY BUY...don't hesitate.

D. once again, both 15 min and 5 min OBV turns short.... SELL SELL SELL...don't hesitate.

Play with it and see what you think. Oh, and just my 2 cents again...stick to ONE instrument for now...don't go jumping around like the Fulcrum Trader....that guy is a PRO...like in PROFESSIONAL TRADER....he knows what he's doing. So if you want to start with CL go for it...but stick to one instrument.

Remember the those WINNING trades...go over it in your psyche. Let those trades dominate your thoughts.

Please, other futures.io (formerly BMT) members jump right in...

"Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." --- "Therefore, I Believe it and I will see it. And every day and in every way, I am healthier, wealthier, and wiser."
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 casey44 
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Shodson, I've appreciated many of your thoughtful posts. Sorry to hear how things have been of late. In the fwiw dept. here's one site that might be of value for higher time frame setups.... Allan Trends

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