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Get Rich or Die Trying


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Get Rich or Die Trying

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  #1 (permalink)
Bend + OR/USA
 
 
Posts: 54 since Aug 2019
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So, Iím new to futures trading. I started trading stocks in February, and absolutely fell in love with the market. It feels like I wasnít meant for it. My mind is meant for analysis. I was fairly successful. At my peak, I was up about 15%, just before the trade war started, and had saved almost three grand, which is a significant amount for a millennial that had never really saved a penny in their life.

I dabbled with options, but it never really took off. I traded bitcoin sporadically. Eventually, I switched brokers so I could short stocks, however, having watched the Tim Sykes videos and wanting to capitalize on the massive volatility of the penny stock world. However it wasnít long before I came to the futures market.

At first, I was mostly breaking even. I would see some pretty big trades, and make a good run, but give it back eventually. I started out trading one e-micro at a time (began with about $2800), and would add a second contract if it was trending.

Eventually, when I became more confident, I was regularly trading 4 e-microís on the S&P at a time. I would definitely get some big trades, but I had numerous small losses that would accumulate really fast, so my profits would eventually dwindle, and Iíd go back to zero, and then would trail into deficit.

Three weeks in, Iím now down $1300. Iím feeling extremely defeated, and have half-way considered throwing in the towel. I know I will be successful eventually, but Iím super frustrated, and am not sure what to do next. Iíd considered going back to paper trading for a bit. I know I need to lower my position sizes for sure. I am getting trapped a great deal by false breakouts.

I am in no way lacking in dedication, or motivation. I study this stuff like a crackhead. However, it seems I am still greatly lacking in awareness, and method. I hope I can resolve these mistakes soon.

Thanks for reading!

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  #2 (permalink)
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Wizard3ootz View Post
So, Iím new to futures trading. I started trading stocks in February, and absolutely fell in love with the market.
I am in no way lacking in dedication, or motivation. I study this stuff like a crackhead. However, it seems I am still greatly lacking in awareness, and method. I hope I can resolve these mistakes soon.

It sounds like you've covered a lot of ground and been in a lot of markets just since February. Every market involves a different type of strategy and, while I don't know what method you're using to trade futures, my guess is that you need to take time to formulate a strategy for futures. Even within futures, different markets may need different approaches.

If you have decided to make futures your home, or at least one of your primary markets, I would suggest this:
1. Devise a strategy if you don't already have one. There are plenty of different ways to gain an edge so just pick one and practice it. There are plenty of good trading books and courses out there, but be cautious about laying down big money for somebody's "guaranteed" plan to make big bucks in just a few weeks.
2. A part of your trade plan must include strict money management and risk control. No matter how good you get, there will be losses, sometimes multiple days of losses. You have to have a trade plan that limits your risk so that when you have the inevitable losses, you will still be able to get up the next morning with a smile on your face and sit down at the computer to trade again.
2. Use a simulated account at first to get the strategy down. I would recommend two to four weeks, although some people say don't come off sim until you are profitable for a number of weeks.
3. After sim, go for the micros. They are the best invention for beginners. You have to be serious because it is real money and real commissions, but you are unlikely to lose your shirt because the amounts at risk are small.
4. Once you're profitable on micros, then try some of the other markets: energy, metal, indexes and so forth. Find one or two that you are comfortable with and stick with those.

To be honest, it sounds like you have really bounced around a lot in just a few months. There's nothing inherently wrong with that because it helps you decide where you feel most comfortable. But, once you decide that, then it's time to dig in, educate yourself, practice, and gear up for the long haul.

Futures, and the markets in general, are fascinating and, yes, there is money to be made. I look forward to seeing your journal as you progress, and you will find lots of help in this community as long as you are willing to listen and learn. I hope you enjoy the journey and best of luck to you along the way!

Mike
NW Trader

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  #3 (permalink)
desert CA
 
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Ok, I see now. You had a nice rise with the uplifting market since Feb. Then got out during these volatile times to try out the futures market. You probably already heard this somewhere but you've been trading for a very relatively short while. Sure it's fine to take a break. I'd 'given up' and took breaks for a over a year or longer multiple times during my journey. I wouldn't believe that pap about Sykes, He got lucky over ten years ago as a teen, then started a tradeucation business as one of the teen trading first fads, shorting, pump/dump, and also fleecing his subscribers and shadily making one of the biggest windfalls of scamsites history. See the tradingschools review: (https://www.tradingschools.org/ ) You might want to check out some of the trading journals here some which had been going on for years, and maybe start one on your own.

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  #4 (permalink)
Bend + OR/USA
 
 
Posts: 54 since Aug 2019
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NW Trader View Post
It sounds like you've covered a lot of ground and been in a lot of markets just since February. Every market involves a different type of strategy and, while I don't know what method you're using to trade futures, my guess is that you need to take time to formulate a strategy for futures. Even within futures, different markets may need different approaches.



If you have decided to make futures your home, or at least one of your primary markets, I would suggest this:

1. Devise a strategy if you don't already have one. There are plenty of different ways to gain an edge so just pick one and practice it. There are plenty of good trading books and courses out there, but be cautious about laying down big money for somebody's "guaranteed" plan to make big bucks in just a few weeks.

2. A part of your trade plan must include strict money management and risk control. No matter how good you get, there will be losses, sometimes multiple days of losses. You have to have a trade plan that limits your risk so that when you have the inevitable losses, you will still be able to get up the next morning with a smile on your face and sit down at the computer to trade again.

2. Use a simulated account at first to get the strategy down. I would recommend two to four weeks, although some people say don't come off sim until you are profitable for a number of weeks.

3. After sim, go for the micros. They are the best invention for beginners. You have to be serious because it is real money and real commissions, but you are unlikely to lose your shirt because the amounts at risk are small.

4. Once you're profitable on micros, then try some of the other markets: energy, metal, indexes and so forth. Find one or two that you are comfortable with and stick with those.



To be honest, it sounds like you have really bounced around a lot in just a few months. There's nothing inherently wrong with that because it helps you decide where you feel most comfortable. But, once you decide that, then it's time to dig in, educate yourself, practice, and gear up for the long haul.



Futures, and the markets in general, are fascinating and, yes, there is money to be made. I look forward to seeing your journal as you progress, and you will find lots of help in this community as long as you are willing to listen and learn. I hope you enjoy the journey and best of luck to you along the way!



Man, I owe you a sincere and heartfelt thanks for your in depth and lengthy response. I really appreciate the feedback! And yeah, I definitely have bounced around a lot; itís taken me quite a while to figure out what markets I was able to gain an edge in, and what markets I was either limited by my experience (like options) or by account size (like equities).

Although I definitely wasnít happy with my recent losses, it was probably inevitable, and Iíll chop it up to growing pains. From most of the responses Iíve gotten, almost everyone Iíve talked to has mentioned getting beaten down pretty hard at first. Fortunately, these small sessions have definitely helped me to remain proactive about my approach, and get to the heart of the matter, so again, thank you for your participation.

I just got home, but Iím sure Iíll be posting here soon. Again, canít thank you enough!

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  #5 (permalink)
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Cloudy View Post
Ok, I see now. You had a nice rise with the uplifting market since Feb. Then got out during these volatile times to try out the futures market. You probably already heard this somewhere but you've been trading for a very relatively short while. Sure it's fine to take a break. I'd 'given up' and took breaks for a over a year or longer multiple times during my journey. I wouldn't believe that pap about Sykes, He got lucky over ten years ago as a teen, then started a tradeucation business as one of the teen trading first fads, shorting, pump/dump, and also fleecing his subscribers and shadily making one of the biggest windfalls of scamsites history. See the tradingschools review) You might want to check out some of the trading journals here some which had been going on for years, and maybe start one on your own.



Yeah man, I saw that on there!!! Couldnít believe it. Thatís part of the reason why I switched. I was using some of his techniques and I was just sitting on my whole account, not doing crap. At least with futures, albeit Iím losing money (for now) Iím still making forward progression, in terms of personal development. Lol.

But yeah man, I hear ya. And I think Iím starting to flatten out. Tbh, I think a lot of it has to do on getting bitten on my orders, getting jipped for 1-2 ticks, just cause I was sloppy and bidding too aggressively during low-volume periods, when I could have bought at the bid or midpoint, and lastly, made a nice close today by finding my target, setting up my sell point in advance, so I could get executed before the masses/algo traders had a change to milk their profits.

Thanks for the feedback!!!

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  #6 (permalink)
Legendary Liquidity Hunter
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Wizard3ootz View Post
From most of the responses Iíve gotten, almost everyone Iíve talked to has mentioned getting beaten down pretty hard at first.

Fear not, the beatings shall continue LOL... it takes a while for sure.

Some guys have been doing this for 10-20 years, spending tens of thousands of dollars in the process and still take a whoopin' Sounds like you've been all over the place in a short amount of time, don't be surprised if it takes longer than you might think. Your attitude is great though, stick with it... you have received some great advice here so build upon it. Get yourself into the micros and don't even think about moving up until you can prove your edge in a live environment.

All the best man.

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Rrrracer View Post
Fear not, the beatings shall continue LOL... it takes a while for sure.



Some guys have been doing this for 10-20 years, spending tens of thousands of dollars in the process and still take a whoopin' Sounds like you've been all over the place in a short amount of time, don't be surprised if it takes longer than you might think. Your attitude is great though, stick with it... you have received some great advice here so build upon it. Get yourself into the micros and don't even think about moving up until you can prove your edge in a live environment.



All the best man.



Lol, appreciate the encouragement! And haha yeah, it definitely seems that way, although Iím trying to focus on the positives. Although Iíve pretty much donated almost half my roll at this point, Iím not allowing myself to be crippled by it. Iím going back to paper trading for as long as it takes me. Once I have proven to myself that I have what it takes, Iíll start playing again. It would be one thing if I was taking hits, and didnít modify my behavior, but the fact that Iím reaching out, pulling out for a while, and committing to re-working my practice, I think, bodes pretty well.

Thanks again for the feedback man. I am really happy to be a part of this community, and to have the support of all you guys. Have felt really welcomed since i started posting on here! ^^

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Well, my initial follow through could have been better, but the good news is that I have taken all of your feedback/comments into strong consideration, and have implemented them into my practice.

Simply put, Iím going back to paper trading until I can develop a better strategy, and start getting some better entries/exits etc.. Although it sucks im down so much, I think this is a necessary stepping stone to success, and I sense that, with patience a and hard work, I will make all my money back - and then some!

As per my plans, my intention is to strictly paper trade, until I can be consistently profitable for the next few weeks. It will be kind of a drag. If I am being perfectly honest with myself, there is certainly any addictive tendency to trading that I will need to contend with, and that has certainly led to some of the more significant losses in the short term. I donít consider myself an addict, but if again, Iím Iím truly being honest with myself, I definitely get a rush from trading, and Iíll need to keep that in check, moving forward.

Iím also making an intention to go through all of my trades at the end of the session, to observe how my entries/exits were, what the overall security was doing etc... and hopefully pick up on some patterns. Iíve noticed that I have a tendency to buy high and sell low sometimes, or short low sell high (Iíve included a pic of a failed short below, illustrating such behavior). Iíve been mostly trading on my phone right now as well, which is definitely not ideal. However, I just ordered a new flash drive so I can throw boot camp on my Mac, in order to run both MacOS and Windows 10, so I can use the TradeStation desktop application (Iíve got parallels but itís just too dang slow).

But yeah, once I see enough consistent profits from paper trading, Iíll shift back over, and start slowly, trading one lots, and see how it goes. No more jumping in with a full position like I have been. I think a great deal of it has to do with jumping in full steam, and not having the account balance to allow for wide enough swings, so Iíll panic, and close out, just to have it rally. Therefore, a lower position should help, in theory.

On a side note, I cannot thank everybody enough for the amazing responses and support you all have provided. Contrary to r/WallStreetBets and the like, everyone here has been extremely warm and welcoming, and has provided a ton of great feedback and suggestions. Cannot thank you enough for being willing to invest in someone elseís success like that. I hope I can return the favor someday (or pay it forward, at the least!)

Thanks again!

P.S. on a side note, I just applied to go to Oregon State University for my Bachelors Degree in Business yesterday. Already have my Associates. Also found out I got a $3,300 grant, per term!

Below:

Photo 1: Solid gains on oil (short) +$120
Photo 2: Failed short. Looked like it was going to continue to drop, then rallied. -$62




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desert CA
 
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Wizard3ootz View Post
Contrary to r/WallStreetBets and the like, everyone here has been extremely warm and welcoming, and has provided a ton of great feedback and suggestions. Cannot thank you enough for being willing to invest in someone else’s success like that. I hope I can return the favor someday (or pay it forward, at the least!)

Thanks again!

P.S. on a side note, I just applied to go to Oregon State University for my Bachelors Degree in Business yesterday. Already have my Associates. Also found out I got a $3,300 grant, per term!

haha, aren't those subreddits a riot? Thank you for your appreciative attitude to the responses here. Congrats on your grants to Oregan state and getting your associates. I think your plan to practice is good and solid and you're well on your way. I'll add that maybe you might have heard of Al Brooks for a price action primer. Bulkowski (thepatternsite.com) also has books on patterns, and I've read books from both and think Bulkowski's books (can be any one of them, not his whole library) detail common chart patterns and price action better overall imo. Best of luck.

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Thanks for sharing! I look forward to following your journal! I wish I could help in a strategy. If there is one thing I learned, you have to develop a strategy that works with your personality. Cheers mate.

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Cloudy View Post
haha, aren't those subreddits a riot? Thank you for your appreciative attitude to the responses here. Congrats on your grants to Oregan state and getting your associates. I think your plan to practice is good and solid and you're well on your way. I'll add that maybe you might have heard of Al Brooks for a price action primer. Bulkowski (thepatternsite.com) also has books on patterns, and I've read books from both and think Bulkowski's books (can be any one of them, not his whole library) detail common chart patterns and price action better overall imo. Best of luck.



Yeah I actually just heard those names thrown around, when I was doing some research on price action trading! Thatís definitely where I need the most improvement. I tend to get trapped a LOT. Iím starting to get better about placing tighter stops, so I can limit my losses, and am being a little more patient with my entries. And I certainly concur - spending more time paper trading has been invaluable thus far. Iím up about $300 on my simulated account today. I jumped on my live account just for a second, but I was keeping it to one lots, made a quick $35 and left it at that. So yeah, Iím definitely adapting.

I will check out Brooks and Bulkowski though for sure! (Edit: just picked up both of their books!) Thanks for the recommendation! And haha yeah, WSB is pretty crazy. I kind of feel bad for the newbies that go on there and are cut down pretty fast.

Hope you guys had some glorious shorts placed during the market today!


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So, in lieu of hitting the wall, I started to bring it back to the basics. I am reading Trading Price Action: Trends, by Al Brooks right now, and its been extremely helpful, in putting the framework of the market together, in my head. He's really good at explaining things in terms that are easy to follow, and the dynamic that is happening, between buyer and seller, when certain things happen within price action.

Apart from that, there's been an intense focus on identifying trends, of course. The introduction section has a huge bullet list, of close to 150 different properties of breakouts that you can look for - its pretty amazing. Some of the stuff that I picked up was:

-Bars with very little overlap (meeting end-to-end, or opening right at the close of the previous bar - or ideally, with a micro-gap)
-Bars with little to no wicks or tails
-A breakout test that fails (where the pullback that goes back to meet the initial breakout point doesn't pierce it)
-Not many trend-channel line overshoots appear
-Most of the correction is sideways, after trend-line breaks
-The pullbacks have weak signals-bars
-Lots of failed reversals that now become flags, in the direction of the trend

Also, I've started looking more frequently at the size of candles, and am better able to identify good signal-bars, as well as when a trend is losing momentum. Concurrently, an extremely important fact is learning to hold my position during a pullback; frequently, during pullbacks, I would close out my position prematurely, only to watch the security rally-onward. I've learned to become more patient (and to wait for the candle/s to finish developing), as a great number of reversals fail, and end up becoming bull flags in the other direction. I am definitely NOT a careless, or reckless person, so this is really contrary to my nature, and itís something I will continually need to work on.

Also, I just got the TradeStation Desktop platform, which has been invaluable. I run Mac, so I had to use bootcamp to dual-boot Windows and MacOS on my MacBook (also have an extra windows 10 registry key if anyone needs it). Its incredibly nice to be able to place my buy orders, stop losses and sell stops, all in a second or two, rather than fumbling around on my phone, while price action is flying. Especially when you're trading against professional traders, and computers, you need to take advantage of every edge you can get.

As far as putting my knowledge into practice goes, I've been trading on sim, consistently, since my last entry. I've tried dipping my toe back into the market once or twice, but I'm still learning. I also think that it was in part to jumping on a new platform, and getting used to the interface/controls etc... However, I have only been trading 1 lots, and bowed out of the market after losing around $34.

Moving forward, my intention is to continue reading Brooks' book (all 450 pages of it!) and finish the two books by Thomas Bulkowski (thepatternsite.com). I purchased his Encyclopedia of Chart Patterns, and Visual Guide to Chart Patterns. Also, continuing to focus on finding solid trends, and how to capitalize on them. For now, I'm going to stick primarily to paper trading, although I will probably dip my toe back in, and test the waters on occasion, while only trading one-lots, and limiting my losses to $30-60 per day, max.

I still have a lot to learn - that much is clear. I think I was overconfident, coming in from stocks. Its a far different dynamic, and I was in no way ready to trade at a "professional" level. That being said, when I was first learning to play guitar, I was down-right LOUSY. The songs and vocals I were putting out were horrendous, lyrically, tonally, and musically. It took me years to break through, but now, I can shred Hendrix like the best of em'. I'll get there eventually, with patience, dedication, and hard-work, just like I always have.

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Alright. So, although I am still fighting to become consistently profitable, I am definitely honing in my system, which is certainly a win. I'm trying to focus less on reading books/watching youtube, and more on reviewing trades, journaling, and offering up info for peer review. To be honest, I have been hesitant to post some of my more embarrassing days on here, for obvious reasons, but clearly, doing so would be of great benefit. With that, youíll see some of my crappier decisions down below, but Iíd invite everyone to offer up any constructive criticism they might have.



Today, I began taking screenshots of my entry and exit on every trade. I think that will help, in going back to review things. Concurrently, I created a new spreadsheet, so I will be able to keep track of my P/L and win percentages every day, which I haven't actively been doing in the past. Also, in reviewing a lot of my trades, it seems like most of my losers occur when Iím buying above the 9EMA. I am going to make a sustained effort not to do that in the future, hah.



I'm getting better at not buying overly-big breakouts at the high, and waiting for the pullback. Also, instead of jumping in head first, it seems like I'm waiting for signal bars more-often, and taking more quick scalps, rather than holding positions for too long. Also, because I haven't gotten windows installed on my iMac yet, I've only been trading on my MacBook; because the screen is so small, I had only been looking at one chart at a time (usually watch the 1min) which I think has been hurting my progress. I started watching the 5min and the 1min at the same time, and I think its helped to give me a greater understanding of what the overall market is doing.



I watched a great video on Market Profile last night. Trying to start implementing that into my practice as well.



I know a lot of these trades really suck, so please don't judge me too harshly, lol. I know I have a lot of room for improvement, but I AM getting there!!! Please note these are all simulated trades.

On the first photo, you can see where I initially tried to go short, in the middle of a bearish uptrend. After that, I bought at the top of two big breakouts, which instantly dropped afterward, and sold at a loss. After that, I went short, and it looked like it might reverse; had I held longer, I would have made out for a nice 7-8 ticks, but a closed for a small loss, out of impatience.

On the second photo, I faired slightly better, but my timing was somewhat off, buying above the EMA.

On the third, I made two nice scalps, but there was a huge volatility burst, and I got trapped, for a pretty big loss.

On the final photo, I got two pretty nice downward legs. However, when it looked like it might reverse, I placed a limit order near the bottom of the knot, but not quite low enough; I ended up getting executed, and the market reversed pretty hard and gave back most my profit.




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Man, great day to sleep in, right??? Ugh, what a huge boom. Oh well, maybe I can capture some of the downside after work.

Iíve been easing my way, very slowly, back into live trading. Although there are still some of my old habits I need to break, there are a lot of positives that Iíve undertaken since I transitioned out of my really awful phase a few weeks ago:

-My risk management is much better. Iím no longer diving headfirst with 4 e-micros, and instantly getting trapped
-Keeping it to one lots
-Spending the majority of my time in sim, backtesting my strategy and trying to get things honed in
-Utilizing my tools better, such as recently adapting order flow (still getting the hang of it)
-Keeping a log of all my trades
-Screenshots before and after each trade
-Journaling more frequently (and honestly)
-Posting content for peer review

I see it being like when I first started playing guitar, I was absolutely atrocious. When I go back and listen to those tracks, now, itís like someone threw a cat in a blender, and then ran it over by a garbage truck. Seriously, hahah. Then, 5 years later, I was touring the entire west coast, playing 50+ shows a year. 10 years later, running sound for major label bands at sold out venues and festivals.

Itís a process. Itís gonna suck, probably for a really long time. I love it though, regardless. My brain was meant for this kind of stuff.

That being said though, Iím still chasing, somewhat. I made one trade on a strong Russel 2000 downtrend today without waiting for the pullback, and of course, it instantly bounced and I took a small loss. And on the other side, during the EXTREMELY strong uptrend this morning, I was too nervous to jump in instantly (probably cause I had literally just woken up) and by the time I got in, it had nearly topped.

Iím getting better at identifying trading ranges, though, and generally not losing money. Although today was a net-loss, only lost $24 in total, including commissions, which is significantly better than the massive numbers I was putting out weeks ago.

I was able to capture a couple of decent scalps, and I think, once Iím able to utilize order flow better, it will help me to see breakouts more frequently, and hopefully prevent me from getting trapped so often.

Anyway, hope all of you know how much I appreciate all the feedback and encouragement Iíve gotten here. Hope I can repay the favor, in time.


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  #15 (permalink)
Portland, OR
 
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Are you using a 1min timeframe? I've given that a try a few times and never did well. I've traded almost exclusively on a 20min for years now. Max risk per contract is $400 trading. I never hope it comes back or think it's still good. I admit I timed it wrong and exit and wait for the next.

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  #16 (permalink)
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Massive l View Post
Are you using a 1min timeframe? I've given that a try a few times and never did well. I've traded almost exclusively on a 20min for years now. Max risk per contract is $400 trading. I never hope it comes back or think it's still good. I admit I timed it wrong and exit and wait for the next.



20mins??? Wow! How long do you hold your positions? Do you have pretty wide swings/have to have deep pockets? I feel like I would get pretty nervous, not being able to watch what was going on.

I definitely have considered trying to trade something other than the indexes; I heard thereís a lot more whipsaw than in treasuries, for example. Sadly, thereís very little liquidity Iíve noticed in a lot of the other small contracts.

But yeah, I will try increasing my timeframe and mess around with it on SIM tomorrow (or at least enter on 1min and then ride it out at a higher timeframe). Thanks for the suggestion!


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  #17 (permalink)
Portland, OR
 
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Wizard3ootz View Post
20mins??? Wow! How long do you hold your positions? Do you have pretty wide swings/have to have deep pockets? I feel like I would get pretty nervous, not being able to watch what was going on.

I definitely have considered trying to trade something other than the indexes; I heard there’s a lot more whipsaw than in treasuries, for example. Sadly, there’s very little liquidity I’ve noticed in a lot of the other small contracts.

But yeah, I will try increasing my timeframe and mess around with it on SIM tomorrow (or at least enter on 1min and then ride it out at a higher timeframe). Thanks for the suggestion!


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Most of my trades are pretty quick. I trade 20min no matter how much money is in my account. I trade GC, RTY/NQ/ES/YM, CL as they've always had the highest expectancy in backtests / live trading.

Here's my trades last night / today in CL. 6:20p entry exit 7p (+50 ticks) and 5:50a entry exit 6:15a (+70 ticks)

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  #18 (permalink)
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Massive l View Post
Most of my trades are pretty quick. I trade 20min no matter how much money is in my account. I trade GC, RTY/NQ/ES/YM, CL as they've always had the highest expectancy in backtests / live trading.

Here's my trades last night / today in CL. 6:20p entry exit 7p (+50 ticks) and 5:50a entry exit 6:15a (+70 ticks)



God damn! Beautiful entries!!! Iím envious!!! Need someone to clean your garage? Will do grunt work for mentorship just teasing.


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  #19 (permalink)
Legendary Liquidity Hunter
Indianoplace, IN
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: SierraChart
Broker: CQG
Trading: All Micros, especially the ones that move
 
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Trading a M1 chart can be tough business since one is often missing out on the bigger picture in terms of overall direction and rolling with the market instead of trying to fight it.

To some, a 20 minute chart is far too short LOL. But as intraday traders, we need to find the timeframes that fit well with our methods and our instruments.

Edit: Your trades look a lot like mine did when I first started out LOL. Keep at it my man, it's a long ride!

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  #20 (permalink)
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@rrracer and @massive I what kinds of indicators do you guys use?

And I definitely hear ya, about the larger picture. I tried trading on the 10 minute chart this morning. It actually worked better than I thought! I will definitely need some more practice though.


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  #21 (permalink)
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I use two indicators I created. I use poc and deviations +/- off of volume distributions and a lower indicator that has volume and price ratios based on up/down bars.

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  #22 (permalink)
Legendary Liquidity Hunter
Indianoplace, IN
 
Experience: Intermediate
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A 10 minute chart is like a 1 minute chart with all the fuzz removed LOL... it's a good one to look at. As you can probably already see, a higher timeframe can help keep you out of trouble without all of the noise on a M1.

I use volume, a few key moving averages and lately have been messing with some simple stochastics that work well for the currencies I trade. Daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly high, low and mid points are very useful for framing up the market and where price sits in the overall scheme of things.

But... honestly... before you delve into too much of that stuff, more focus should probably be applied to reading price action, market structure, and trying to understand which way the market is really headed so you can work on trading in that direction. It can take a long time to develop a feel for what is going on, but these are the basics that everyone needs to understand before applying a bunch of squiggly lines and trying to make sense of them as well

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  #23 (permalink)
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Rrrracer View Post
A 10 minute chart is like a 1 minute chart with all the fuzz removed LOL... it's a good one to look at. As you can probably already see, a higher timeframe can help keep you out of trouble without all of the noise on a M1.

I use volume, a few key moving averages and lately have been messing with some simple stochastics that work well for the currencies I trade. Daily/weekly/monthly/quarterly high, low and mid points are very useful for framing up the market and where price sits in the overall scheme of things.

But... honestly... before you delve into too much of that stuff, more focus should probably be applied to reading price action, market structure, and trying to understand which way the market is really headed so you can work on trading in that direction. It can take a long time to develop a feel for what is going on, but these are the basics that everyone needs to understand before applying a bunch of squiggly lines and trying to make sense of them as well



Re: price action - absolutely. Iím reading several books right now. I have Trading Price Action: Trends by Al Brooks, and I have The Visual Guide to Chart Patterns by Thomas Bulkowski (thepatternsite.com). So yeah, Iím getting my fundamentals down, but I get whipsawíd quite a bit, so youíre probably right in that trading on a higher timeframe would help.

Do you think trading something other than the indexes would be better, as a beginner? I heard that itís easier to get whipsawíd on the indexes, than say, treasuries, although for the micros, I havenít seen hardly any volume on those contracts.


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  #24 (permalink)
Legendary Liquidity Hunter
Indianoplace, IN
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: SierraChart
Broker: CQG
Trading: All Micros, especially the ones that move
 
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There is no beginner instrument per se, but at least you have a leg up trading the micros. I've personally only dabbled in the indices, pretty much everything I've learned over the last 2.5 years has been in currencies. They typically move slow and are more of a mean-reversion instrument which, in my opinion, makes them a little more predictable and gives more opportunity to analyze the situation... but they can also be boring as a piece of unbuttered toast I took a look at NQ and ES but they don't move like FX does, and since I consider myself still very much in the learning phase, decided to stick with what I know for the time being.

There's an excellent thread here on FIO started by our very own @Big Mike that covers price action in detail, but it is in the Elite section (you may consider joining, there is a wealth of information at your fingertips there that well exceeds the minuscule cost of membership.) I've never studied Brooks PA but have read it a bit here and there... it's very detailed, the bar by bar stuff is a lot to swallow IMHO, but a lot of traders here swear by it. Not dissing it, but seems like trying to take a sip of water from a fire hose, especially for someone just starting out lol I'm talking more about overall price action and market structure...

Are we trending or ranging on our chosen timeframe? What are we doing on a higher timeframe? Is price trading above or below the day's open? The weekly open? Are we making higher highs and higher lows or vice versa? If price action is moving up and we are above some stuff, would it not make sense to position ourselves to go with the flow? Ask yourself these sorts of questions in order to build some context around what price is doing.

I haven't seen you discuss your entry and exit strategies; when I look at the trades that you've posted I don't understand the reasoning behind your actions, but that sort of thing can be difficult to convey on M1 charts if you're only holding for a bar or two Looks like you might be a breakout trader? Perhaps you could lay that out for us so that we may better understand your methodology... maybe post a M1 chart of some trades you've taken and then the same trades from the M10 with a little more history for us to look at.

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  #25 (permalink)
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So, I've gotten some really helpful feedback in the past few days, and I'm making a conscious effort to focus more on trade awareness (logging/reviewing/journaling) rather than learning new techniques, and doing research. I have done SOME logging, but TradeStation doesn't make it super easy to track P/L on a Simulated account (the live account does show your P/L but, for SIM, I physically have to go in and record all of my orders). I do have a spreadsheet, but its been super time-consuming, and I just don't have a very good system for it yet, however, I went through last night and recorded all of my trades from yesterday morning by hand in my notebook, and I found it extremely helpful.

Having gone through every one of my trades, I am starting to see trends/habits in my trading, that I certainly can improve upon. For one, I noticed that I often tend to go short on really big signal bars, which often tend to be false-breakouts, and will get whipsaw'd. Concurrently, on one occasion (and I'm sure this was not the first time), I went short on a false breakout, and then immediately reversed my position, only to get whipsaw'd a SECOND time, which was extremely frustrating. I also noticed that, on both of those trades, I was selling/buying on the wrong side of the MA, and I never waited for a follow-through bar. In the future, when this happens, my goal is to wait for a follow through bar, and if it comes, wait for the pullback, and then get in on the second leg down.

I also noticed that i have been going short, at the bottom of bear trends (riskier entries) after the trend is near exhaustion. At one instance, I did this, and barely got out with 3 ticks; the next bar was a doji, and for whatever reason I entered again, eventually getting out at breakeven (which, tbh, could have been a lot worse, but my judgment was still poor). I am also going to make a strong attempt to trade on the inside of the MA from now on, as I have a tendency to jump in after too-large-of signal bars, that cannot find support, and end up reversing after many take profit. I'm also going to mess around with throwing on some of the chart-strategies in TradeStation, and use them - not as a rule of law - but as a hint or "flag" that there could be price action in this area, as that seems to be part of my problem (that I don't have a refined strategy). I think this will help me to read the price action a little bit easier, and get into a flow, so I'm not making quite as many amateur mistakes, and not second-guessing myself on as many good trades.

Also, @Rrrracer, and my strategy, and what kind of "trader" I am, to be honest, I haven't really thought about it enough on those terms, yet. I suppose you could call me a breakout trader? I'm almost always on the 1m bars, looking for breakouts, or short/medium term trends, and I don't generally hold my positions for very long. I wouldn't say that I'm necessarily scalping, but probably the next-closest thing to it. That being said, my routine involves checking the Futures Heatmap in the morning, looking for decent % gains and trending price action, jumping on the 1min bars, and then just looking for breakouts and short term trends.

I also noticed that I had been shorting into bull trends (even after decent sized bull-signal bars), which, tbh, I should know better, given how many reversals fail. Additionally, when these kinds of plays come into fruition, I think I end up tilting pretty hard, and frequently sell at max-pain, as I'm generally pretty conservative with money in real-life. This is something I will definitely need to work on, and will try and be conscious of, in the moment. I'm not quite 100% sure what the best way to approach this would be, whether or not its best to just take the hit, or if its worth it to try and hold it a little longer, to see if it loses momentum, and the bear trend continues. If anyone has suggestions about this, I'm all ears.

My goals for this coming week are as follows:

-Log my trades every day, accounting for entry/exit prices, P/L, commissions etc...
-Take notes/observations after each trading day, and reflect upon my strategy as a whole
-Submit any common threads for peer-review
-Focus on refining my trading strategy, and follow my trading plan
-Get TradeStation setup on my iMac, and focus on adapting order flow and market profile to my strategy

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  #26 (permalink)
Legendary Liquidity Hunter
Indianoplace, IN
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Wizard3ootz View Post
And I definitely hear ya, about the larger picture. I tried trading on the 10 minute chart this morning. It actually worked better than I thought! I will definitely need some more practice though.

Post a chart with these trades on M10? Preferably with about a week's worth of data behind them?

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  #27 (permalink)
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So, I know I haven't posted for a grip, but I have slowly but surely been working on developing my strategy. I've been doing a great deal of backtesting in Sim, and although its certainly a work in progress, there are a lot of things I've recently implemented to my practice that have been super beneficial. Also, to be honest, I've definitely been fighting recency bias, having gotten my ass handed to me early on in futures, and I think it's taking me a bit to find my confidence again.



For one, I started trading on tick charts, instead of time-based charts. That has definitely helped, as it "mutes" the bars that have very little activity, and helps me to find breakouts, as when they occur, bars tend to start flying. I'm also continuing to learn OrderFlow, having my primary chart showing the volume numbers up/down, and a second, larger chart w/ rectangles.











I've also found the TradeAnalyzer in TradeStation, which I've only recently found/adopted, but is going to be INSANELY helpful in tracking my metrics. Before, I was having to track all of my trades, and crunch all of my numbers by hand, basically (cause TS doesn't have Sim accounts' listed for P/L in the Client Center, on their website). Anyway, that has every metric I could ever need and more.



One thing that came out through the woodwork, in seeing my metrics, was how much I'm spending on commissions in Sim. With that, I'll be venturing over to NinjaTrader here relatively soon. I think that will help keep my costs down, given the fact that I've been scalping, for the most part. For example, today was a bit of an off day, but I'm currently down $86 (and $40 of that is commissions), granted, I'm not nearly as apt to trade as frivolously IRL.



Anyway, having better metrics is going to help me out a ton. As per the tools and stuff, its hard to say what the best approach is. For now, I am just experimenting with several different approaches, until I find what works best for me. Tick charts are definitely in. Volume profile has definitely been helpful; I'm trying to use the value area more frequently, particularly taking note of where the market enters, with regard to the previous day's VA, as - if it enters above/below, it has a pretty high chance of moving all the way through it (from what I've read).



I know I probably don't need most of this crap, and for the most part, I am mostly just watching the price action anyway, save for brief periods where I'll check other charts, but I don't want to turn into the trading version of U2's "the Edge" with a gazillion effects pedals and using a different tone on every song. I'm sure, once I find my rhythm, I'll simplify it to just a few, core tools/indicators - like I said, I'm just experimenting, for now, to see what works. I'm also in the process of writing a solid trading plan for myself, with rules for as many conditions as possible (that account for my specific weakness/tendencies).



Some of the prior issues I remarked were:

-Not monitoring the EMA

-Immediately reversing after a losing position, getting f*****, and having the trend continue

-Not looking for common support/resistance zones, prior to entry

-Entering on poor signal bars

-Trading IN ranges, rather than shorting at peaks and buying at troughs (although I'm getting a ton better at trading in ranges as of late)



I'll post my full trading plan here in the next week or two. This has definitely been a helpful process, though, and a highly recommend it! Anyway, I'll have some decent stats here, in the next week or two, and I'll actually be able to pull some meaningful data. I know it's hard to help someone when you can't really see where they need improvement.



Thanks for reading!

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  #28 (permalink)
Bend + OR/USA
 
 
Posts: 54 since Aug 2019
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So, I traded like absolute trash this morning, and after going back over all of my trades, the common thread that I'm seeing is that, although I'm picking the right direction, they have no room to run. Generally, when I place my trades, I am watching the price action, and then placing my order either at, or one or two ticks off of the current price-level; itís like "shooting from the hip" to a degree, hoping to catch the movement as it develops.



However, my best trade of the day, today, was more of a mean-reversionistic style, having observed the lay of the chart, found a price level that I thought was suitable for a short, and placed my order. Not ten seconds later, I got a sweet pull for ten ticks. Immediately after, I got another short for six ticks. Seems like it makes a LOT more sense, to make the market come to me, instead of trying to chase the market, when trying to place my orders.



Anyway, I'm going to continue using this method throughout next week, and log the results. Thank god I finally found something that works - hah. Was starting to get pretty frustrated, putting in a shit ton of effort every week, put constantly striking out.







On bar one you can see that I'm trying to catch the trade as it runs. The trend had been short up to this point, however, my entry was poor, and I inevitably ended up covering when it turned several ticks against me, although it would have turned into a good trade, had I held.



Bar two was my best trade of the day. This was when I first decided to pick a decent level, and let the market come to me, rather than try to catch the price action and shoot from the hip.



Bar three I caught a second short for six ticks, although it ended up dropping considerably afterward.



Bar four, I attempted to catch the reversal, picking where I thought the market might bounce, but I ended up underestimating slightly, and covering too soon. As you can see, it ended up bouncing shortly after, and had I held, it would have turned into a good trade.



Bar 5, the market was attempting to go short again, and against my better judgment, I placed a more aggressive entry (which was a good lesson) as it finally reversed, and I got trapped. Next time, I'll know better.

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  #29 (permalink)
Bend + OR/USA
 
 
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Alright, so I thought I would dip my toe back into the market, after I had a pretty nice trade last night. I was trading on Sim, and there was a pretty big breakout, so I switched over to live and caught the downside.



Everything started out pretty solid this morning. I ended up picking the direction right on trade 1, but I ended up closing too soon, getting spooked on the pullback. I wasn't using Order Flow, like I usually do (my charts just didn't load, but I didn't think I would need it, necessarily). Had I been using it, would I have made the same mistake? I don't know.

On trade 2, I tried to catch the break off the trendline, but again, I ended up closing too soon, on the pullback (anyone else seeing a trend here?). Had I not closed abruptly, I would have caught a pretty nice return.

On trade three, I trade to place a single short, but my computer started lagging out for some reason (which had never happened to me) and it ended up placing like 5 orders, and I got executed for three of them. I kind of freaked out, and pretty much closed as soon as I could.



On trade four, I tried going long, after the bull spike, but I sold after the large bear trend bar came in. I placed a short trade immediately after (trade 5), but sold when it looked like it may go long again. Had I held longer, I would have caught the biggest trade of the morning.

By trade six, I had already decided to bow out of the market. I had several lost, consecutive trades (not a good sign) so I knew I needed to stop. However, it was a MASSIVE bear movement. That being said, I hesitated way too long, and by the time I entered, it was way too late.



Clearly, my issues today were emotional ones. Simply put, I'm covering my shorts way too soon. Good trades are being sacrificed, because I'm not willing to let pullbacks go far enough in the wrong direction. I read recently that I good place to put your stops is Average True Range x2, however, I guess I have difficulty analyzing when to pull a trade, versus what is just a pullback. Also, perhaps I just need to be more comfortable allowing for more space, when clearly the market is more volatile (or maybe trade more zoomed out?). I'm not sure. You'll notice, though, that I'm choosing the right direction virtually every time, and my trades WOULD have been good trades HAD I HELD THEM LONGER.

Well, I suppose there's one good thing. I know where I need improvement - lol. Thanks for reading guys. Would appreciate any feedback you might have to offer.

Total Profit: ($31.00)
Gross Profit: $10.50
Gross Losses: ($41.50)
Total Number of Trades: 11
Percent Profit: 18% (not accounting for lag spike, which would put it at 25%)
Winning trades: 2
Losing trades: 9 (3x in lag spike)
Avg Loss: ($4.61)
Avg Win - $5.25
Biggest Win - $9.00
Biggest Loss - ($7.25)
Max Consecutive Win - 2
Max Consecutive Loss - 8 (3x in lag spike)

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  #30 (permalink)
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Man, I feel like a broke through some kind of barrier. After a shit ton of anguish, and lost money, hours of reading, watching youtube videos and shit, I finally had a killer day on the futures market. Its not huge money or anything (still trading 1-lots) but my execution was excellent, and that's definitely something to be stoked about.

OVERALL:

Total Net Profit: $45.13
Gross Profit: $58.13
Gross Loss: $13.00
Total Trades: 11 (8 winners, 3 losers)
Percent Profitable: 72.73%
Avg Winner: $7.27
Avg Loser: $4.33
Biggest Win: $17.50
Biggest Loss: $5.50
Max Consecutive Win: 4
Max Consecutive Loss: 2

Sadly, I missed the huge downside today, when the manufacturing report came out, because I'm running Windows through Bootcamp on my Mac; the time is always 6hrs ahead (which I usually fix) but I had to restart this morning - it ended up giving me an error message every time i tried to place a trade.

Things I'm Doing Well:

-Not chasing the market
-Buying pullbacks
-Watching Volume to buy breakouts
-Not buying extended up/downtrends
-Watching overall volume for trend exhaustion (I have my second monitor set to paint the candles so they are color-coded for volume
-Other small things have helped, like having my computer set automatic trendlines, as well


Anyway, I know its not huge money, but its progress. I've worked really, really fucking hard at this shit, and even if its a small stepping stone, I feel like I'm at least seeing some results, and have been able to apply/adapt to the markets, and my own personal weaknesses.

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  #31 (permalink)
Legendary Pratik_4Clover
Mumbai, India
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Own Customized
Trading: Crude, NIFTY, BANKNIFTY
 
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You have made lot of progress in a very short period of time, it took me good 2 years to reach where you have in just couple of months from the day I started to trade with lot of interest.

My 2c here is that make sure you keep track of changes you are going through, both mentally as well as your learning. Traders generally experience cycle of periods, down periods-dull periods-good periods-boom periods in both learning as well as earning.

When you start keeping record with all honesty (Charts+Trades+critique of what you did right and what you didn't) you will keep yourself away from going into dull or lower periods.

Also, people already said this, but avoid 1M TF as of now, it can be quite scary, 5/10/15 is generally good to test out different things. Also, make sure you are testing in same markets you plan to trade, one of the biggest miscalculations one can do when going places is make strategy for one market and then use it to trade other, not all strategies work in all markets, there are very minute detailing involved, curve fitting can be also very serious problem in testing periods, it takes time to learn and gain experience.

Little side note, you seem to have great potential in field, but don't ignore psychological aspect, mental conditioning is 80% of your trading ability till you go fully auto.

Keep up!

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  #32 (permalink)
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LastDino View Post
You have made lot of progress in a very short period of time, it took me good 2 years to reach where you have in just couple of months from the day I started to trade with lot of interest.



My 2c here is that make sure you keep track of changes you are going through, both mentally as well as your learning. Traders generally experience cycle of periods, down periods-dull periods-good periods-boom periods in both learning as well as earning.



When you start keeping record with all honesty (Charts+Trades+critique of what you did right and what you didn't) you will keep yourself away from going into dull or lower periods.



Also, people already said this, but avoid 1M TF as of now, it can be quite scary, 5/10/15 is generally good to test out different things. Also, make sure you are testing in same markets you plan to trade, one of the biggest miscalculations one can do when going places is make strategy for one market and then use it to trade other, not all strategies work in all markets, there are very minute detailing involved, curve fitting can be also very serious problem in testing periods, it takes time to learn and gain experience.



Little side note, you seem to have great potential in field, but don't ignore psychological aspect, mental conditioning is 80% of your trading ability till you go fully auto.



Keep up!



Thanks for the awesome feedback man - really appreciate it. And I HOPE that it wasnít just a fluke - haha. The real question I guess is whether or not I can replicate these results, but time will tell.

And yeah, I was trading like garbage on the 1m charts. Iím trading 75 tick charts now, depending on the volume. If itís really crazy Iíll switch to 125 or 250, but Iím also keeping an eye on the 15/30min charts / volume profile while I use the 75 tick to place my orders.

And couldnít agree more with the stats. Fortunately, I found the awesome trade analyzer feature that TradeStation has, that cranks out all your numbers for you; I just sent off a check to ninjatrader last week though, so hopefully they have something similar.

Thanks again man. And will definitely take note of the mental aspect as well. I know, from experience, that I tend to pull my trades a little too soon, so trying to get better about stop placement, and sitting tight through pullbacks etc... itís tough business!


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Legendary Pratik_4Clover
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Wizard3ootz View Post
Thanks for the awesome feedback man - really appreciate it. And I HOPE that it wasnít just a fluke - haha. The real question I guess is whether or not I can replicate these results, but time will tell.

And yeah, I was trading like garbage on the 1m charts. Iím trading 75 tick charts now, depending on the volume. If itís really crazy Iíll switch to 125 or 250, but Iím also keeping an eye on the 15/30min charts / volume profile while I use the 75 tick to place my orders.

And couldnít agree more with the stats. Fortunately, I found the awesome trade analyzer feature that TradeStation has, that cranks out all your numbers for you; I just sent off a check to ninjatrader last week though, so hopefully they have something similar.

Thanks again man. And will definitely take note of the mental aspect as well. I know, from experience, that I tend to pull my trades a little too soon, so trying to get better about stop placement, and sitting tight through pullbacks etc... itís tough business!


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Yes, one only has sweaty palms when real money is on line.

Funny thing about this is that the more you know about market risks it is likely that more you are afraid of things going wrong.

One major difference between me when I started and me now is notably my willingness to trade, when I started out I would "trade anything", without a single care in the world. I was lucky that I was at least smart enough to not play with futures at that time, but I did get my hands burned in options. Lessons learned, after that I had to set rules for number of trades per session, position sizing and very rigid rules of entry and SL, exits are still all over the place but its work in progress. These things other ppl can't teach or you can't learn from others, because it will be part of your own personality. Hence the added importance to psychology.

Good luck on your journey!

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Well, I know I've been pretty sparse with my posts lately, but with good reason; if you read my last post, you saw that I had a killer day, and made a 73% win percentage. As I feared, however, I couldn't reproduce the results. Over the long term, it all came down to some core factors - overtrading being my #1, followed by poor money management (trying to win back losses - a cardinal sin of trading), and trading flat markets (or in my case, having difficulty identifying proper trends).

Although it was a sizable investment, I figured that - in the long term - it was better to invest in proper education, than continue, indefinitely, to lose money. Thus, I decided to pick up some of the materials that TopDog Trading had to offer, as their style has definitely appealed to me, for its concise, and calculated way about it.

There are a few things that definitely hit home to me, after breaking into the course materials. For one - I was probably getting 10% or less of the value, from my indicators. Although I'd been using the Stochastic and MACD for FOREVER, they pretty much did nothing for my overall strategy. Now, I am getting REALLY good at reading divergences, and using the Stochastic to TIME my entries (selling from the 80/buying from the 20), and the MACD to measure market momentum. I got rid of the histogram entirely on the MACD, and set the MACD-line as a histogram instead, with the signal remaining as a solid line. Both indicators are set pretty damn fast as well.

Concurrently, I am regularly counting the number of waves into a trend, and no longer trade a trend after its hit the 3rd wave (at which point, I start looking for reversals). Fortunately, whereas before, I had NO real rules set for myself, and no solid strategy either. Now, I have an extremely precise, concrete set of rules for myself, and have found myself PASSING on many more trades, reducing my losses and creating more room for profit.

I've only been trading with this new strategy for about a week, but am definitely seeing results. Last week was mostly just getting the ball rolling, but I traded the Asian session tonight, and had a 50% win percentage, with my avg. winner being more than 2x my avg loss.



First, I'm on NT now, as you can see. Secondly, you can see how my MACD is set - the MACD line is the bars/histogram, and the signal line is the solid blue line. I use the MACD line to measure short term momentum (I don't take trades with the MACD not going in my direction) and the signal line measuring long term momentum. As per the stochastic, I have %K in green dashes, and %D as the solid blue line. These are what are helping me to time my entries. Lastly, i'm only taking trends in the direction of the 50MA, unless its a reversal trade, where I will enter as soon as it crosses back over the 50MA, presuming all my other indicators are in alignment. Lastly, I have all of these same factors on ANOTHER chart, whose timeframe is 3:1 what this chart is; I try to confirm (w/ regard to the stoch. and MACD) that I'm getting the same signals on THAT chart as well, i.e. the stochastic from both charts at a cycle high/low, and the MACD pointing in the same direction.

Anyway, its a process, but like I said, I am very glad to have invested more in education. At this point, seems like its worth every penny. Looking back, I feel like I was bumbling around in the dark, trying to find a light switch, but now that I have a solid strategy, clear rules for money management, and a significantly better understanding of how to read price action, I feel invigorated, and confident for the future. I'll be trading on SIM for the time being, until I have REALLY harnessed this strategy, and can trade it with my "eyes closed", but I've got no qualms about it.

Thanks for reading!

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Hey guys - I know I've been pretty inactive for a while. TBH, I have't had much to write about, seeing as - for the majority - I've been backtesting the new strategies. Although I've spent the majority of my Futures trading career scalping, I have found that I have been incredibly successful trading on longer timeframes. When I was trading stocks, which I was quite successful at - for a beginner - I was always trading longer timeframes. I'd hold at least a few days, and I found that it was a lot easier to manage, particularly for someone with a full time job. Concurrently, it was always super solid when everything hit, and you allowed your winners to run.



I basically have two different accounts I'm SIM trading with (and two different strategies!). On my computer, I'm scalping on NT, and I've been swing trading on my phone, using TradeStation. Although I didn't really have the opportunity to trade much last week (health has been kinda gnarly), I was up over 1500 last week, trading on the 30min timeframe, on my phone. Granted, that doesn't mean much, when you have a massive, imaginary account, but of all the trades I made last week, I think I got stopped out on one, and had probably 6-7 winners. I remember Bulkowski saying that "the longer the timeframe, the more meaningful the chart pattern." This seems to hold true with regard to the entries I've been making, in that, the longer the timeframe, the more potent my indicators/conclusions (and by extension, my trades) become!



I've found that, given my schedule, this may be a more ideal way of trading, rather than killing myself, doing 14hrs in front of a computer monitor, 5 days a week. I love high frequency trading, but I love money more (hah), and if this is going to be the more profitable method for me (and it has the added benefit of allowing me to be less hands-on, and less stressed about positions) fuck it - I'm down!



Anyway, we will see how things continue, over the next few weeks. Maybe once I get my SIM account over 20k, I'll switch. As of now, I started at 10k, and am around 12.6k right now. I'm probably being overly cautious, but I'd like to have everything down to muscle memory, so I can be totally robotic about my entries.



Thanks for reading! Hope everyone is doing well. Will hopefully have some screens for you guys this week ^^

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Legendary Pratik_4Clover
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Wizard3ootz View Post
Hey guys - I know I've been pretty inactive for a while. TBH, I have't had much to write about, seeing as - for the majority - I've been backtesting the new strategies. Although I've spent the majority of my Futures trading career scalping, I have found that I have been incredibly successful trading on longer timeframes. When I was trading stocks, which I was quite successful at - for a beginner - I was always trading longer timeframes. I'd hold at least a few days, and I found that it was a lot easier to manage, particularly for someone with a full time job. Concurrently, it was always super solid when everything hit, and you allowed your winners to run.

I basically have two different accounts I'm SIM trading with (and two different strategies!). On my computer, I'm scalping on NT, and I've been swing trading on my phone, using TradeStation. Although I didn't really have the opportunity to trade much last week (health has been kinda gnarly), I was up over 1500 last week, trading on the 30min timeframe, on my phone. Granted, that doesn't mean much, when you have a massive, imaginary account, but of all the trades I made last week, I think I got stopped out on one, and had probably 6-7 winners. I remember Bulkowski saying that "the longer the timeframe, the more meaningful the chart pattern." This seems to hold true with regard to the entries I've been making, in that, the longer the timeframe, the more potent my indicators/conclusions (and extent, my trades) become!

I've found that, given my schedule, this may be a more ideal way of trading, rather than killing myself, doing 14hrs in front of a computer monitor, 5 days a week. I love high frequency trading, but I love money more, and if this is going to be the more profitable method for me (and it has the added benefit of allowing me to be less hands-on, and less stressed about positions) fuck it - I'm down!

Anyway, we will see how things continue, over the next few weeks. Maybe once I get my SIM account over 20k, I'll switch. As of now, I started at 10k, and am around 12.6k right now. I'm probably being overly cautious, but I'd like to have everything down to muscle memory, so I can be totally robotic about my entries.

Thanks for reading! Hope everyone is doing well. Will hopefully have some screens for you guys this week ^^

Just wanted to say, I'm glad to hear you have managed to figure out timeframe suitable for you. Although my words are not that important around here as I'm quite new too but I don't think this forum minds lack of posts as long as the ones you are making are progressive towards your goal, and you are doing quite well on that front. I wish you good luck.

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Well, after backtesting in SIM for the last few weeks, I have finally started to transition back into live trading. It was important to me to spend a good deal of time practicing the strategies Iíve been adapting, getting used to checking a multitude of factors before entering; the first 2 days in incurred small losses, however, I added Order Flow back into my strategy, in addition to the other elements Iíve been using (such as using the stochastic as a cycle indicator, MACD as momentum, and using 2 different charts @ a 3:1 ratio, insuring I have my triggers active on both timeframes).

Iím using MZPack - an order flow suite that has been phenomenal so far. Itís really nice being able to see order imbalances/absorption happening, and also identify when traders are becoming trapped.

This morning, I only took a handful of trades (5 I think?) but had a 100% win percentage, pulling around a 9% gain compared to my total account size.

I was pretty anxious on some of them, I was trading larger contracts, relative to my account size (NQ, 6E) which has greater risk, and was mostly scalping. There was one trade that I wish I had held a little longer, but once I start regaining my confidence, I wonít tilt so hard once I put on a big position.

Also, I found a great group of guys on Facebook that I have started a conglomerate of sorts with. Each of us is responsible for watching a certain sector of the market (I.e. one on equities, one on energies, currencies, grains etc...). We have a discord, where most of us have been hanging out and sharing important levels throughout the day, and we are meeting once a week (either Saturday or Sunday) after the COT report comes out, to inform each other on the market. If anyone else is interested, please let me know! One of the guys in the group is a hedge fund manager (trades 100 lots of ES lol), and his student is with us as well, so thereís already pretty good camaraderie.

Anywho, itís nice to feel like Iím progressing again, and have a strategy I can fall back on, with clear rules, and from which the results are easily measured.

Thanks again for reading! Hope to begin posting again regularly, now that I have something valuable to share, hah.

-Bootz


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A phenomenal excerpt from a trading psychology book by Randee Howell really to internalize the concept of how our beliefs (outlook) create our experience.

He compared the market to a vast ocean, and we (as traders) are but a single fisherman, in a very small boat. When the ocean delivers, we harvest, and when it doesnít, we stress. This ocean does not judge - it simply is; but when weíre not catching any fish, if we focus on scarcity, it leaves us blind to other possibilities. Fear itself becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

Thatís why itís important to remain calm, and ground oneself, through breathing and awareness, so when the ocean does not provide what we are seeking, we do not blind ourselves to other possibilities that might come from the apparent chop.

This is a valuable life-lesson as well, in that, when life doesnít give us what we want, we donít sabotage ourselves with a scarcity-mindset, for even the roughest seas might grant us the greatest profits.

-Concept taken from Randee Howellís book on trading psychology.

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So, I'm continuing to read Randee Howell's book on trading psychology, and it has brought a lot of my issues to bear. When I first started trading futures (migrated from stocks/options/crypto), I pretty much blew up my account. I was trading too big for my position size, would enter on FOMO, and pull good trades before they had time to mature, or not hold them long enough.



I have to say, I am really proud of myself for having the guts to get back into the market, despite my "recency syndrome" that has created a sort of mental block, in my trading. Fortunately, the mindset I'm bringing to trading has a great deal of self-awareness, comparatively. Since reading the book, I have learned to use breathwork when entering/holding a position, which helps to balance out my emotions. Prior to that, I noticed that my heart would start racing quite a bit, when I put risk-on, and that tilting, so to speak, caused a great deal of my problems. I would jump in and out of positions way too much, cut trades before they matured, or close out at breakeven if they showed any weakness. It was clear that my trading method would not allow me to "hold" through a drawdown, setting stops too tight, and hesitating too great a time before entering a trade. I was also guilty of FOMO, and trying to chase the market at times.



On the technical side, I've been very fortunate to have a great trading group on discord, and a solid set of rules to govern my decisions. I'm still using the stochastic to find the cycle low/highs, and the MACD as a momentum indicator. I'm also taking trend trades off the 2nd and 3rd waves, and finding reversals when I see a momentum shift on the MACD. Lastly, I'm using MZPack, on Ninjatrader, to help me find Big Trades, follow delta, and support/resistance levels marked by multiple levels of order imbalance.



Anywho, like I said, I'm really, really proud of myself, for having the courage to face the market again. I spent a great deal of time trading on SIM, and honestly, I am not sure if it helped. Although it helped me to practice my trading method, so much of my issues revolves around my mental game. Like Randee Howell says - you trade your beliefs, not your method, and your beliefs are ultimately reflected by your emotions, which - in my case - was governed a great deal by fear; that fear became the cornerstone of my trading practices, and the work that I am doing greatly helps me to control it.



With that, the mind that I am bringing to trading is a lot different than the one I had before. I feel more comfortable putting risk on, and I'm not constantly jumping in and out of trades all the time. I feel more comfortable letting a trade move against me, and am not constantly exiting them to cease the discomfort. Like I said, I'm really proud of myself, and feel that - ultimately - this will continue to have a positive effect on my trading performance.

Edit: Just ended my day. 75% win percentage, with my winners just over 1.5x my losers! Couldnít be happier.

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Wizard3ootz View Post
So, I'm continuing to read Randee Howell's book on trading psychology, and it has brought a lot of my issues to bear. When I first started trading futures (migrated from stocks/options/crypto), I pretty much blew up my account. I was trading too big for my position size, would enter on FOMO, and pull good trades before they had time to mature, or not hold them long enough.

I have to say, I am really proud of myself for having the guts to get back into the market, despite my "recency syndrome" that has created a sort of mental block, in my trading. Fortunately, the mindset I'm bringing to trading has a great deal of self-awareness, comparatively. Since reading the book, I have learned to use breathwork when entering/holding a position, which helps to balance out my emotions. Prior to that, I noticed that my heart would start racing quite a bit, when I put risk-on, and that tilting, so to speak, caused a great deal of my problems. I would jump in and out of positions way too much, cut trades before they matured, or close out at breakeven if they showed any weakness. It was clear that my trading method would not allow me to "hold" through a drawdown, setting stops too tight, and hesitating too great a time before entering a trade. I was also guilty of FOMO, and trying to chase the market at times.

On the technical side, I've been very fortunate to have a great trading group on discord, and a solid set of rules to govern my decisions. I'm still using the stochastic to find the cycle low/highs, and the MACD as a momentum indicator. I'm also taking trend trades off the 2nd and 3rd waves, and finding reversals when I see a momentum shift on the MACD. Lastly, I'm using MZPack, on Ninjatrader, to help me find Big Trades, follow delta, and support/resistance levels marked by multiple levels of order imbalance.

Anywho, like I said, I'm really, really proud of myself, for having the courage to face the market again. I spent a great deal of time trading on SIM, and honestly, I am not sure if it helped. Although it helped me to practice my trading method, so much of my issues revolves around my mental game. Like Randee Howell says - you trade your beliefs, not your method, and your beliefs are ultimately reflected by your emotions, which - in my case - was governed a great deal by fear; that fear became the cornerstone of my trading practices, and the work that I am doing greatly helps me to control it.

With that, the mind that I am bringing to trading is a lot different than the one I had before. I feel more comfortable putting risk on, and I'm not constantly jumping in and out of trades all the time. I feel more comfortable letting a trade move against me, and am not constantly exiting them to cease the discomfort. Like I said, I'm really proud of myself, and feel that - ultimately - this will continue to have a positive effect on my trading performance.

It is definitely a journey, isn't it? Whether coincidental or not, I seem to have become better at trading since I started meditating on a regular basis. Sounds kind of "woo-woo", but I now find it much easier to sit and watch the chart, not feeling the need to trade unless I see the proper setup occuring. If I happen to not find a trade, I still find the chart study interesting and am able to get up and walk away from the computer without feeling frustrated. I know that as my trading becomes more consistent all I will need to do is increase contracts, not necessarily trade more often. I haven't read the book you reference yet, but plan to do so soon.

I recently went back to the methods you shared with me and have (at least temporarily) removed big trades, profiles, depth and footprints from my charts. I had too much going on! Since then I am doing much better. As I get this system committed to "mental muscle memory", I will once again look at those tools one by one as I do think they provide valuable insights to the markets.

It's been a good journey so far and I'm looking forward to seeing both of us become more successful!

Mike
NW Trader

There is no path to happiness. Happiness is the path.
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It is definitely a journey, isn't it? Whether coincidental or not, I seem to have become better at trading since I started meditating on a regular basis. Sounds kind of "woo-woo", but I now find it much easier to sit and watch the chart, not feeling the need to trade unless I see the proper setup occuring. If I happen to not find a trade, I still find the chart study interesting and am able to get up and walk away from the computer without feeling frustrated. I know that as my trading becomes more consistent all I will need to do is increase contracts, not necessarily trade more often. I haven't read the book you reference yet, but plan to do so soon.



I recently went back to the methods you shared with me and have (at least temporarily) removed big trades, profiles, depth and footprints from my charts. I had too much going on! Since then I am doing much better. As I get this system committed to "mental muscle memory", I will once again look at those tools one by one as I do think they provide valuable insights to the markets.



It's been a good journey so far and I'm looking forward to seeing both of us become more successful!




@NW_Trader Nice man! Glad to hear itís helping. Yeah, Iím primarily following the topdog method as well. I know footprint is advantageous as it gives you so much more information about whatís going on, however, it seems like the topdog indicator setup - albeit it is only an average/approximation of all the data mzpack is giving you, that being said, I think itís plenty effective at filtering out bad trades; Iím only really using the footprint and big trade charts to indicate when thereís a shift in direction.

And likewise man! I highly recommend Randee Howellís book. It was insane when I started to realize how often my my thought processes were coloring the decisions I was making, and how beneficial it has been to be able to separate ďmyselfĒ from that decision making process.

Anyway, itís all relative, I suppose. Making some meager gains right now, but gaining awareness of those emotional hurdles and putting risk-on again is definitely a big step in the right direction.

Cheers!


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So, in the past several months, I have definitely started to come into my own. Having incurred serious losses when I first started trading futures was difficult, to say the least, but because i persisted, I feel like I have started to incur some measure of consistency. I journal now, after every trade, and its helped me to start analyzing my trades as a whole, rather than on a one-to-one basis. I had a really hard time, after those big losses, in pulling the trigger. I would get really nervous before putting a position on, and sometimes my heart would start racing.

Fortunately, I'm over most of that, and although there are periods when I might experience some anxiety, if a trade starts to move against me (also, when i'm IN the money, and unsure whether to close out), having a specific method, in conjunction with scaling out, definitely helps me to settle my nerves. I'm trying to go in with more contracts, as taking incremental profit allows me to rest assured that I'll walk away with something. Also, I got a cool risk/reward indicator, where you can drag your entry, stop loss, and profit target, and it will show you what the risk/reward is on the trade... it lets me rest easy knowing that my downside is minimal, and the upside is substantial. Lastly, I'm trying to include some content that describes my thought process, while I have a position on, and I sense that that will help me to establish where my weaknesses are, and hash out any contributing factors that might contribute to mental errors (like moving stops, leaving money on the table, and trading with ones' emotions).

Anyway, I'm gonna start posting my journal/charts on here every day if I can. I have been insanely busy with school/work/health etc.. so I'm not trading every day, but I'm hoping to make a practice out of this. With no further adieu...

#21: A:

WHAT: MNQ // Short // 2/11 / /8:02

TRADE TYPE: Reversal

WHY: Price had been in an extremely bullish uptrend. Had a divergence on MFI, and then a head and shoulders pattern. Price had gone up to meet a resistance area as well.

WHAT HAPPENED: I went in at the bearish pinbar. I put my stop right above it. Price started to move closer to my stop. Sellers were trying to push it down, but I got barely stopped out (went 3 ticks beyond my position, and then it began to break down).

RESULTS:
Loss of 11 ticks

WHAT I LEARNED: Reversals are sketchy. Also, I should have noticed the bullish behavior, as we broke the trendline that had preceded my entry. Looks like we might just be trading sideways, rather than reversing.
Pics Below:

#21: A: 200 Tick



#21: A: 600 Tick



#22: B:

WHAT: MNQ // Long // 2/11 // 10:45

TRADE TYPE: Trend continuation // Trendline

WHY: Price was making higher highs on the MT chart, as well as the ST chart. We were also reaching a support area.
WHAT HAPPENED: Price went several ticks in my direction, and then started to meet resistance. I noticed that there were trendlines coming down on the ST chart, and I started to get nervous that it was going to break lower. I decided to pull my trade, making a few ticks. Fortunately, I was right, and just after I got out, it went a few ticks higher, and then broke lower, which would have stopped me out.

RESULTS:
+3 ticks on 1x
+4 ticks on 1x

WHAT I LEARNED: Its important to be aware of the patterns on multiple timeframes. Had I noticed that we were in a solid downtrend on the ST chart, I might have been a little bit more careful, in entering my trade. You have longs and shorts battling on the same ground, for different reasons, and there were a lot of longs that got trapped out right after I exited.
Pics below:

#22: B: 200 Tick



#22: B: 600 Tick



#23: C/D:

WHAT: MNQ // Long // 2/11 // 11;18

TRADE TYPE: Reversal

WHAT HAPPENED: I entered on the cycle low, and then shorts started to step up, putting me into a corner. Unfortunately, I got stopped out, and then it continued upward, where I re-entered. Upon the re-entry, price went quite a few ticks in my direction, but I didnít really set a profit target, and unfortunately, the shorts started to step up. I could have made a really nice return on that move, however, I wasnít able to pull the trade in time. I had put in a limit order, which didnít get hit, and by the time it started to retrace, I ended up getting stopped out.

RESULTS:
Loss of 14 ticks
Loss of 5 ticks
Pics Below:

#23: C/D: 200 Tick



#23: C/D: 600 Tick



#24: E

WHAT: MNQ // Long // 2/11 // 11:51

TRADE TYPE: Trendline/Trend continuation

WHY: Price was starting to reverse on the ST chart. We had put in 4 waves already, and were starting to approach a resistance area. We were holding the trendline steadily, however.

WHAT HAPPENED: I entered on the bullish pinbar, on a candle with an extremely long stem, and the top being pushed into the upper quadrant. I slowly scaled my way out, locking in profits along the way. I locked in a little on my first contract, and then it dropped, approaching my stop loss. Fortunately, buyers began to step up, and price continued further in my direction. I sold a second contract, and finally my third, just prior to the resistance area. It was a good thing that I got out too, because the market dropped again right after I closed out my position.

RESULTS:
Gain of 5 ticks
Gain of 11 ticks
Gain of 14 ticks

WHAT I LEARNED: That trendline strategies DO work, and that I should keep using this as part of my playbook. Also, that going in with more contracts, and scaling out is the best way for me to combat my nerves.

Pics Below:

#24: E: 200 Tick



#24: E: 600 Tick


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Had a solid day today! Got some nice scalps, and the only losing trades I took were very minimal losses. Overall, very pleased with my performance.







#28: A:

WHAT: MNQ // Short // 2/12 // 9:57



TRADE TYPE: Reversal



WHY: Price had reached its all time high, and had made 3 failed attempts to break through 9619. It retracted back to the support area, and was starting to break. I wanted to capitalize on all of the long traders who would have been trapped in there.



WHAT HAPPENED: There was a substantial amount of support. We had an extremely difficult time pushing price down, as the longs that were becoming trapped defended their position. Delta was still on my side, though. However, the third bar initially opened w/ positive 16 delta, and was getting REALLY close to my stop. Seeing that, I decided to pull the trade (closed out) Ė right after that, it finally broke lower. My stop would have been safe by one tick



RESULTS:

Loss of 3 ticks on one contract (decided to keep my size low, since reversals are low probability trades)



WHAT I LEARNED: Respect your stop! I would have still been in. Also, I am not really accepting the risk, when Iím going in Ė otherwise, I would be letting my stop get hit. I think its important I consider that before I enter.



MISTAKE: Moved my stop up



A: 200 Tick





A: 600 Tick





#29: B:

WHAT: MNQ // Short // 2/12 // 10:15



TRADE TYPE: Trend trade (off the EMA)



WHY: Price was in a solid downtrend, after reversing from the all time high. It was bouncing off of the 34EMA, after having put in a pretty big move.



WHAT HAPPENED: It initially came in with strong negative delta, but buyers started stepping up. The second bar had strong positive delta, and I was strongly considering pulling my the trade. I donít think I considered how strong the buying would be, given how strong the downtrend was. Unfortunately, the buying was really strong, and I was eventually stopped out for a small loss.



RESULTS: Loss of 7 ticks on one contract



WHAT I LEARNED: You have to be more careful, going in after a really big move. Also, you put your stop just INSIDE the 34EMA, one tick above your entry bar (I didnít realize this until after the fact). You would have benefitted from putting it on the other side of the EMA in the future, rather than one tick above the high of your signal bar. Also, it might be safer to wait until the first pullback, before entering on a reversal. Watch for when the 8EMA crosses the 21EMA, then wait for the pullback, and enter there.



MISTAKE: Stop placement



B: 200 Tick





B: 600 Tick





B: Order Flow





#30: C:


WHAT: MNQ // Short // 2/12 // 11:24



TRADE TYPE: Trendline



WHY: Price was in a solid downtrend, and was retracing to the upper trendline.



WHAT HAPPENED: I entered, and price went a few ticks, struggling a bit to get going/surpass the 50SMA. I took off one contract after a few ticks, and left the other two to ride. We bounce off the 50SMA, and came back up (positive delta was coming in). Fortunately, we overwhelmed the buyers and were able to break through the 50SMA. I got out at the support level down below, rather than wait to hit the trendline, knowing that would provide support.



RESULTS:

Gain of 5 ticks (1x)

Gain of 13 ticks (1x)

Gain of 21 ticks (1x)

WHAT I LEARNED: This is a great method. Keep it up!



MISTAKE: None



C: 200 Tick





C: 600 Tick





#31: D:



WHAT: MNQ // Long // 2/12 // 11:57


TRADE TYPE: Trend Trade



WHY: Price had just broken out of the descending triangle, and put in a strong push to the long side, stopping just short of R2 (Fib Pivots) and the support level from the ATH that turned into resistance. It retraced back to the trendline from the descending triangle, which became support.



WHAT HAPPENED: Price had been breaking down from the big, bullish push it had just put in. It broke all the way down to the 50SMA, and slightly beyond, before it hit support at the trendline from the descending triangle which now became support. Price went up, and I took off one contract at a pretty decent level, and then it began hitting resistance. The shorts were pretty strong, and were pushing price back toward my entry. I had moved my stop up from one tick below the swing low, to one tick below my entry, so I was starting to get a little bit close to being stopped out. I decided to take off another contract, and finally the third, as we were putting in negative delta. The shorts continued to push extremely hard, putting in a massive amount of pressure. I ended up leaving some money on the table, because the longs WERE nearly able to push price up to the previous swing high (my initial target), but they had a tough time doing it. It created a double top, and then completely dumped down the short side. I WOULD have been stopped out, given having moved it up near my entry, however, had I left it where it was, I would have been able to stay in and make another 20 ticks or so.



RESULTS:

Gain of 12 ticks (1x)

Gain of 7 ticks (1x)

Gain of 6 ticks (1x)



WHAT I LEARNED: Maybe moving my stop up so much wasn't a great idea. I'll have to look more into that into the future. However, there was massive selling on the short side (saw bigtrades for 75, 30, and 147 contracts short) so clearly it could have gone either way.



MISTAKE: Pulling my trade prematurely



D: 200 Tick





D: 600 Tick


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Holy shit!! This was the best trading day I have had in AGES!!!! Unbelievable. Don't even have the words - I just have to say, I am incredibly, incredibly proud of myself, for having come from a place 6 months ago where I didn't even know if I should CONTINUE trading Futures, to having a day like this. Clearly, there is certainly an element of luck to trading, however, my strategies, decisiveness, and confidence in entering my positions have all improved remarkably... and I am starting to develop a really solid "playbook" where I have some simple, yet effective methods that I can apply in a variety of situations.



#41: A:
WHAT: MNQ // Long // 2/13 // 7:55
TRADE TYPE: Trendline
WHY: Extremely bullish uptrend, finally retraced near the 34EMA
WHAT HAPPENED: Price initially stalled out, and went 3-4 ticks against me, but buyers eventually stepped up. I scaled out, taking off some of my size. The longs started getting absorbed though, and it started to turn against me. I decided to close out, but unfortunately, it punched right through immediately after, going another 35-40 ticks (sadly).
RESULTS:
Gain of 9 ticks (2x)
Gain of 17 ticks
WHAT I LEARNED: Donít close out just because you are hitting some resistance. The market is just taking out all the offers. You should take more comfort leaving your last contract on the table.
MISTAKE: Left money on the table

A: 200 Tick


A: 600 Tick


#42: B
WHAT: MNQ // Short // 2/13 / 8:19
TRADE TYPE: Reversal
WHY: Price had just put in an extremely huge uptrend, and delta was starting to come in on the short side. Price had also retraced to the 50MA, which I thought would provide resistance
WHAT HAPPENED: I got stopped out. Price went ahead to test the previous high
RESULTS: Loss of 11 ticks (3x)
WHAT I LEARNED: Stop trading reversals, lol.
MISTAKE: Didnít take into consideration the long term chart traders, and how my reversal on the 200 Tick was just their retrace. Need to use multiple timeframe analysis

B: 200 Tick


B: 600 Tick


#43: C
WHAT: MNQ // Short // 2/13 // 8:57
TRADE TYPE: Trend continuation
WHY: We had made an all time high, and the bears were coming in. We had been stuck in this area, accumulating, but we were just starting to break through. I was falling victim to FOMO a bit.
WHAT HAPPENED: We broke through the support level, and then we started to lose momentum. I decided to get out as quickly as I could, taking off some risk, considering how wide my stop was. Fortunately, I was able to get out with my skin intact.
RESULTS:
Gain of3 Ticks (1x)
B.E. (1x)
Gain of 1 tick (1x)
WHAT I LEARNED: This was purely a gutshot, second to gambling. You need to be more patient, and wait for a proper reversal before going in.
MISTAKE: FOMO

C: 200 Tick


C: 600 Tick


#44: D;
WHAT: MNQ // Short // 2/13 // 10:03
TRADE TYPE: Trend continuation
WHY: Price was in a strong downtrend, and was retracing to a resistance level
WHAT HAPPENED: Got pretty close to getting stopped out at first (got super nervous) but then we were able to break lower, fortunately. I got off my first contract pretty early, my second contract almost perfectly, but I held onto my last contract too long, and didnít make much $ on it.
RESULTS:
Gain of 11 ticks (1x)
Gain of 23 ticks (1x)
Gain of 2 ticks (1x)
WHAT I LEARNED: That I need to be watching for when we make a pinbar, and if we do, close out immediately. Donít wait for it to retrace all the way back up.
MISTAKE: Held final contract too long.

D: 200 Tick


D: 600 Tick


#45: E:
WHAT: MNQ // Long // 2/13 // 15:23
TRADE TYPE: Trendline
WHY: Price is bouncing off the trendline on the 200 tick chart.
WHAT HAPPENED: I entered, and it was slow going at firstÖ it took a while to get delta back in our favor. I almost closed out early, to be honest, because we were sitting at -25 delta, but eventually, we dwindled down the offers and were able to punch through. I took off one contract @ the first stage of absorption Ė at 2.5pts up, the second 3.5pts up, and the third just under 5pts up. I could have made more. In the future, I think I will wait until there is solid absorption on my side, because Ė in all likelihood Ė thatís what itís going to take to stop us.
Also, right after I exited, price reversed quite a bit lower, and then the longs pushed it up again. I could have re-entered even, and made a little more money.
RESULTS:
Gain of 10 ticks
Gain of 14 ticks
Gain of 19 ticks
WHAT I LEARNED: Keep an eye on absorption, so you can stay in as long as possible.
MISTAKE: Left money on the table

E: 200 Tick


E: 600 Tick


#47: F:
WHAT: MNQ // Short // 2/13 // 19:53
TRADE TYPE: Breakout
WHY: Price had created an all time high, and put in a staggeringly huge uptrend. Price was starting to make lower lows, and was hitting support at 9659.
WHAT HAPPENED: Price broke through the support almost immediately after I entered. It went a good number of ticks in my direction, and I took off one contract at R1. Price retraced 50% towards my entry, and then started to drop again. However, it started to hit support at the 34EMA. There were a few bigtrades coming in on the long side, and delta was turning green, so I decided to get out. They pushed price 5 ticks or so from my entry, and then it began to drop again.
RESULTS:
Gain of 15 ticks (2x)
Gain of 14 ticks (1x)
WHAT I LEARNED: That reversal plays like this are a lot safer, when combined with support/resistance. If you enter right when a key level is about to be broken, it will give you a lot more momentum, and relative safety.
MISTAKE: None

F: 200 Tick


F: 600 Tick


#48: G:
WHAT: MNQ // Short // 2/13 // 20:59
TRADE TYPE: Reversal & S/R Play
WHY: Price was still coming down from the huge bullish uptrend, when it made the ATH.
WHAT HAPPENED: I entered the trade, and the sell volume was really, really slow. There was definite support. There was a fair amount of buying, and delta actually flipped to green. I got spooked, and decided to get out of the trade for a quick scalp. Unfortunately, it pushed quite a bit lower only seconds after I exited, and I could have gotten a little over 2x what I did.
RESULTS: Gain of 5 ticks (3x)
WHAT I LEARNED: That although my intuition was correct, and there was definitely not a great deal of selling (we failed to make a lower low, or break through the support created by the 50SMA) I could have hung in there a little bit longer, and got 10 ticks instead of 5. I could have also taken off half of my position, or one contract, instead of taking off all 3.
MISTAKE: Left $ on the table

G: 200 Tick


G: 600 Tick



#49: H:
WHAT: MNQ // Short // 2/13 // 21:30
TRADE TYPE: Breakout
WHY: Still playing this reversal, off of the ATH that was created, with the extremely huge uptrend. Price was very slow going at first, but we were approaching the 50SMA as well as R1.
WHAT HAPPENED: Slowly but surely, the shorts were able to push price beyond the 50SMA. I entered as soon as R1 was broken. I took off one contract, locking in some profits, and then I closed my last two at the market (I might have stayed in longer, but for some reason my mouse wasnít clicking when I was trying to buy at the bid/ask, so I just hit the close button, but I was able to get out four ticks from the bottom!)
RESULTS:
Gain of 6
Gain of 14 ticks
WHAT I LEARNED: Wow Ė I have never really traded breakouts like that before, where you encroach on a key level that was broken like that. I usually tend to avoid them because I typically put my stop 1 tick above/below the swing high (depending on which side Iím trading). However, I think I am going to start trading these more often, because you can clearly grab a really nice momentum move when all of the other traders get stopped out!
MISTAKE: None!

H: 200 Tick


H: 600 Tick

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Wizard3ootz View Post
73% win percentage today. Can't complain ^^ Not huge money, but consistency is key!

Absolutely! The percentage is great, the ticks are good and the money will come later provided you maintain that consistency. Nice trading!!

Mike
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Posts: 54 since Aug 2019
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Solid trading day today. Had school at noon, so I wasn't able to get a full session in, but I'm up about $86, which is pretty good for me, particularly with micros. You'll probably notice that my charts look a ton different, and exceptionally naked - hah. I've been reading up on Mack from PATS Trading's content, and decided (as an experiment) to throw all my indicators out the window, and only trade a 2000 tick chart w/ a 21 EMA, like he does. So far, its actually worked exceptionally well. Additionally, I was able to see a LOT of the mistakes that I was making, trading primarily from the 200 tick chart. Most notably, when the market would appear to "bottom" and started making higher highs, I had falsely identified it as being a reversal. Inevitably, we would start to put in another leg up, and then BOOM - everyone gets trapped out, and sprints for the door. I am elated to have identified a significant flaw in my trading strategy, and feel stronger because of it.



#65: A:
WHAT: MNQ // Short // 2/18 // 8:19
TRADE TYPE: Trend continuation
WHY: Price had broken off the main trendline, making a higher for the day. It settled down into a trading range, and tested the high. Although I missed a great entry at the failed break above the session-high, I was able to scalp a nice trade off the pullback.
WHAT HAPPENED: Price descended from the session high, and broke lower. We made a pullback, falling just short of the 21EMA. I saw the trap developing, so I entered short. Prices moved effortlessly in my direction, and I was able to grab a nice scalp.
RESULTS:
ē Gain of 9 ticks
ē Gain of 17 ticks
ē Gain of 21 ticks
WHAT I LEARNED: Identifying traps is an incredibly useful skill. Also, waiting to trade counter-trend until we have tested the high, and failed.
MISTAKE: None

FOR ALL SCREENSHOTS [Trade Markers]: WHITE = BUY, ORANGE = SELL
*ALL SCREENSHOTS ARE OF 2000 TICK CHART*



#66: B:
WHAT: MNQ // Short // 2/18 // 8:30
TRADE TYPE: Trap/Trend continuation
WHY: Price was moving aggressively lower, and the bulls were trying to push it back up, showing a possible trap.
WHAT HAPPENED: Prices moved down to the very bottom of the candle, where the bulls would normally have to exit. Unfortunately, it moved a few ticks in my direction, but the bulls came in really strong, and trapped ME out Ė hah.
RESULTS:
ē Loss of 11 ticks (3x)
WHAT I LEARNED: It really sucks not having ATM strategies for my stops and profit targets. I should definitely think of investing in a lease.
MISTAKE: Entered far from 21EMA



#67: C:
WHAT: MNQ // Short // 2/18 // 8:35
TRADE TYPE: Trend continuation/trap
WHY: We had just retraced up toward the 21EMA, and it appeared longs were beginning to get trapped.
WHAT HAPPENED: Price was slow going at first, hitting support. Fortunately, I was able to scalp out a decent trade, but then it failed to break lower, where Iíd otherwise have been stopped out.
RESULTS:
ē Gain of 7 ticks (2x)
ē Gain of 2 ticks (1x)
WHAT I LEARNED: Was a really good re-entry right after this, that I missed, unfortunately, as I was journaling. With that, keep an eye out for second entries.
MISTAKE: None



#68: D:
WHAT: MNQ // Long // 2/18 // 9:30
TRADE TYPE: Reversal
WHY: Price had bottomed out, and tested it twice, creating a triple bottom. We moved above the 21EMA, and were making a pullback.
WHAT HAPPENED: I entered right where the shorts would normally have had to exit their positions. It was really slow going at first, and I got a little bit nervous. I took profit on my first contract really early on, and made meager gains on the other two. Unfortunately, it broke out strongly right after I exited. Had I had a better entry (at the support area, for instance) I would have been more comfortable, leaving more room for my stop. However, given how choppy it was, I decided to get out.
RESULTS:
ē Gain of 3 ticks (1x)
ē Gain of 6 ticks (1x)
ē Gain of 8 ticks (1x)
WHAT I LEARNED: Entering deeper into the pullback will allow you greater room to let your position breathe. If you enter really high up on the candle though, youíre more likely to get stopped out.
MISTAKE: Low risk tolerance/entered late/left money on the table



#69: E:
WHAT: MNQ // Long // 2/18 // 9:48
TRADE TYPE: Trend continuation/pullback
WHY: We were retracing to the trendline, and the bulls were starting to step back up.
WHAT HAPPENED: I didnít enter on the trendline, like I would have liked to have done. Prices went up a good deal, but then started to hit resistance. Finally, they started to break through, and I got a good scalp on my first contract. However, we started to lose momentum, and began drifting back toward my entry. I tried getting out with a limit order, but it wasnít getting hit, so I closed at the market on my other two, just above breakeven. Unfortunately, although it pulled back pretty hard, it broke out really nicely afterward, so I left quite a bit of money on the table.
RESULTS:
ē Gain of 14 ticks (1x)
ē Gain of 6 ticks (2x)
WHAT I LEARNED: Try entering deeper into the pullback next time, or just sell all 3 contracts if you get to a sufficient height.
MISTAKE: Left money on the table/Late-entry. You should continue entering at the trendline, putting your stop on the other side of it, like you had been. Also, you could have taken the second entry off the trendline, after the first break failed.



#70: F:
WHAT: MNQ // Short // 2/18 // 10:54
TRADE TYPE: Reversal
WHY: Price had gone up to the session high, and failed to break thru. It then tested briefly afterward, and was moving up to test it a second time, making a small triple top.
WHAT HAPPENED: I entered after the candle turned red again and was starting to break lower. It was slow going at first, but eventually, we were able to take out all the offers, and reverse the previous candle. I started scalping out, and was able to make some decent $. It started to hit support, so I ended up closing out, but all in all, made a really nice return (albeit I did leave a little bit of $ on the table).
RESULTS:
ē Gain of 17 ticks (1x)
ē Gain of 18 ticks (1x)
ē Gain of 20 ticks (1x)
WHAT I LEARNED: That this is really sold strategy. Wait for price to move up to resistance (the session high), fail, and then retest. Enter after the retest fails, and ride it all the way down.
MISTAKE: Left a little money on the table



#71: G:
WHAT: MNQ // Short // 2/18 // 11:00
TRADE TYPE: Trend continuation
WHY: We had gone up to the session high, and then failed on the re-test. I was entering on the pullback.
WHAT HAPPENED: I got stopped out on my first attempt. I should have put my stop on the other side of the midline, however, I was just inside it, and it was barely hit. I entered again on the 2nd entry, however, and was able to make a really nice gain.
RESULTS:
ē FIRST ATTEMPT:
o Loss of 11 ticks (3x)
ē SECOND ATTEMPT:
o Gain of 24 ticks (1x)
o Gain of 23 ticks (1x)
o Gain of 25 ticks (1x)
WHAT I LEARNED: That you can use the midline as the place to gauge where your stop should be, on pullback. Concurrently, if you get stopped out, watch for a second entry.
MISTAKE: Stop too close.


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Solid trading day today. Had school at noon, so I wasn't able to get a full session in, but I'm up about $86, which is pretty good for me, particularly with micros. You'll probably notice that my charts look a ton different, and exceptionally naked - hah. I've been reading up on Mack from PATS Trading's content, and decided (as an experiment) to throw all my indicators out the window, and only trade a 2000 tick chart w/ a 21 EMA, like he does. So far, its actually worked exceptionally well. Additionally, I was able to see a LOT of the mistakes that I was making, trading primarily from the 200 tick chart. Most notably, when the market would appear to "bottom" and started making higher highs, I had falsely identified it as being a reversal. Inevitably, we would start to put in another leg up, and then BOOM - everyone gets trapped out, and sprints for the door. I am elated to have identified a significant flaw in my trading strategy, and feel stronger because of it.

Excellent work, Wiz! I'm glad the PATs stuff is working for you. I am trying to use a blend of PATs and TopDog, but trading on just the one screen with no indicators taking up space really gives you a clean picture of price. I may migrate back that way just a bit. I'm starting to see more success so I'm not making a major change, but I do have a very busy screen and I'm not absolutely sure I need it all on there.

Good trading!!!

Mike
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So, I have been reading a phenomenal book on trading psychology - "The Daily Trading Coach: 101 Lessons for Becoming Your Own Trading Psychologist"; the author remarks on the value of communal support in your trading ventures, having positive relationships that act as a "mirror", allowing you to reach greater depths of one's self, and lastly, transparency. I have reasonably understood that, to a significant degree, I have only been posting on days where I feel like I have traded rather well. I'm certainly not alone in this - a good many traders out there only post when they have seen success, but are too embarrassed to bring forth their losing trades, particularly if they're especially bad.

With that, I am going to make a commitment to journaling consistently, and show EVERYTHING - warts and all, lol. All in all, I think it will be a positive experience though, and look forward to posting with more regularity, even if it is just a few paragraphs.

The last time I posted, I had been seeing some solid success. I had seen several days w/ 75% win percentage, and was primarily trading w/ just the 2000 tick and 21 EMA, PATS Trading style. I started to scale up, however, and that's when things started to get a little rough around the edges. I ended up blowing up my account though, making a really stupid mistake. I was trading a reversal; there had been a major trendline break off the high, and we had put in two waves down. I was entering off of the retrace, and we ended up breaking through the downward trendline. I let my position go way past my stop, and decided to lower my cost basis. I did it again.... still going; and again... still going. Finally, I was five lots deep, and the market was JUST starting to lose momentum (I will note that, by this time, I was already down over $200 and was committed to hanging onto the trade, unwilling to close out at such a big loss). Sadly, though, I got stopped out just before it finally broke lower (ran out of margin), where I would have had a decently winning trade.

POINT BEING, do NOT be surprised if the market decides to test the high again (I told myself), after a major break off the trendline. Also, just take the small loss - makes no sense to add to a losing trade, particularly after the newly formed bearish trendline was broken, and momentum was coming in to the upside.

FAST FORWARD TO THE PAST FEW WEEKS:

I've been able to adapt some new tools that have been valuable, and hope to continue seeing good results with them. For one, I have been actively using the Footprint chart, from MZPack, particularly in watching the COT, or commitment of traders; it's essentially a cumulative delta that will track delta that's taken place after the bar has made a new high (relative to itself - not the whole chart), or when the bar has made a new low. For example, if the bar is bearish, and makes a new low, the COT low will go to zero (anytime the bar makes a new low or retest a previous one, it goes back to zero); once the bar starts to pull back, you will see the COT low increasing, showing that buyers are stepping up, invoked by the increase in positive delta. I have been using it to time my entries on pullbacks, being able to identify when we're at a likely bottom, and buyers are stepping up. Conversely, I can also see when we are LOSING momentum, watching the COT high; when we make a new high, the COT high goes back to zero, but when sellers start stepping up (presuming there isn't enough buying pressure to push through it) the COT high will starts DECREASING rapidly, as short-delta is entering the market.

So yes, I am using that, in conjunction with watching the cumulative delta, so I can identify when there are still a great number of long positions on, for example, if I'm trying to sell the top, as well as when they start to unwind. I've also been able to take advantage of seeing absorption areas, when there is one big seller taking everything the longs will give them (for example), and have everything displaying on a heatmap that's relatively simple to understand.



I'm also developing a strategy based on standard deviation, on the Volume Profile. In my statistics class, they started talking about the Empirical Rule, and it basically states that 95% of a sample size is going to take place within the first two standard deviations. It dawned on me that, with only 5% of price action occurring outside the 2nd standard deviations, it would be relatively easy to adopt a mean-reversion trading style, entering once we broke outside the second standard deviation, and trading it back to VWAP. Thus, I set up my Volume Profile to show me where STD 1/2 were, and although this strategy is still in its infancy, and I will not be taking trades on this principle ALONE, I feel it could prove to be valuable in the future. I have also been reading a great deal about reading the profile in general, trading around high volume nodes, and identifying probable S/R zones.

Empirical Rule:


Volume Profile:


Although all of this is valuable content, I still have core issues that I have yet to resolve, particularly in the realm of trading psychology. I am really bad with holding my positions long enough, and have sacrificed a number of home-run trades, in exchange for a meager, sure-gain. I am generally pretty uncomfortable during pullbacks, and there have been several days in the past month where I was overtrading profusely, finding it difficult to call it a day. I started recording some of videos of my trading, which has definitely been beneficial, and am hoping to utilize that content to come up with some very concise rules, and a concentrated effort NEVER to trade "from the gut". i don't want to just harp on myself though. I have had some beautiful entries, and I have had multiple instances when I WAS able to get myself to take a break.. hopefully, with persistence, I can get to the point to where it comes automatically.

And in the spirit of transparency, I found a biofeedback app, where you put your phone by your stomach, and it listens to the sounds of your diaphragm, creating wave-sounds that grow louder as your breathing becomes more irregular. I am hoping that, in conjunction with mental mindfulness, I can become more aware of my tendency to "spook", and use this app to relax my nervous system at the same time.

Also, because I have the P.O.S. free license that NT offers at the moment (that lacks ATM) I don't have the ability to set profit targets that will trigger automatically. I have found that, because of this, I have not been designating a profit target prior to entering the trade. However, in designating a profit target beforehand, I find that I have been able to release my grip on the reins somewhat, allowing the market to come to me, instead of always trying to "go to the market". I've setup my Fibonacci Extension template to automatically chart where the 1:1, 2:1, 3:1, and 4:1 profit-targets are at, and will use it to slowly branch out, so I'm won't keep short-changing myself. My goal is to enter with two contracts, taking profit on one at 1:1, and the second at 2:1 to start, moving my stop to B.E. once TP1 is hit.

Anyway, I am definitely moving in the right direction. I have a plan, I have the tools, and I have the desire. I think the rest will all come in time. Thanks for reading.

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Yes, Dr Brett is my favorite. I focused on psychology, and branched from there to risk management, instead of chasing indicators or systems. It changed my life, all of it -- honestly.

Read all his books. And here on FIO he has done multiple webinars, check them out.

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BTW, I also measured my physical response alongside my trading and learned so much. I was doing video recording as well, simultaneously recording my body plus my DOM with software.

You are on the right track.

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Thank you @BigMike! And yeah, his writing definitely speaks to me. It seems like every lesson is just another wealth of knowledge, and I am doing my best to soak up his material.



Well, it was a bit of a rough start to the week, however, I am making a concentrated effort to LEARN as much as I can from every loss. I'd like to think that gathering solid data, and building awareness around my weaknesses will help propel me where I need to be. I started using a new journal format recommended from my trading psychology book. Despite not being overly proud of my performance today (down around $50), I am committed to transparency. With no further adieu...


(EDIT: It seems like there were three, primary themes that affected my trading today. One - poor timing. I need to be timing my trades better with the stochastic, so Iím not showing up late to the party. Two - fear of loss. There were multiple instances when I pulled a good trade, during a pullback, or had my stop too close. Three - stop placement. Twice, I had the opportunity to put my stop on the other side of a trendline, but was stopped out as it was too close. And four - entries. I entered long during a bearish divergence (twice); I also entered twice, right after the trendline (and my key entry point) was broken)

(EDIT: What will I do to improve?
-Use the stochastic to time my entries, every trade.
-No entering against divergences
-Stops must be places on the other side of trendlines (greater buffer zone)
-No entering after the trendline has been broken
-Stops go below the swing low, and move to 1:1 after TP1 has been hit
-Enter w/ two contracts, so I can take profit at TP1, allowing me to put some $ in the bank, and leave one to run; either that, or one contract, since I seem to have enough anxiety as it is, and no closing the trade until stochastic has hit the cycle high/low)






DESCRIPTION:

A: Tried shorting off the trendline, under bearish delta/COT, but didnít have a wide enough stop

B: Tried shorting again, seeing rejection to the long side, but was stopped out

C: Tried reversing my position, looking for a trade in the other direction, but didnít have a wide enough stop.

WHAT CAN BE LEARNED:

I have to be able and willing to let my trades have room to breathe

HOW WILL I IMPROVE:

Run with wider stops, or wait for more confirmation before entering, so I donít spook as easily







DESCRIPTION:

D: Took a trend trade, off the pullback, entering when I saw that both the COT high and low, and delta, shifted to green

WHAT CAN BE LEARNED:

I had moved my stop up to breakeven, once I had crossed the 1:1 profit mark. Prices started to retreat, however, and were getting close to my stop. I ended up pulling the trade for a few ticks, so I could still get something. However, prices went bullish right after that, and I wouldnít have even been stopped out.

HOW I WILL IMPROVE:

Iím going to try and pay attention to the VMA, to make sure volume is still good in my direction. Also, I will respect my stop at B.E., understanding that the first attempt doesnít always go through, but the second attempt is higher probability. Also, I will continue watching the COT low, to make sure thereís still delta on my side, in addition to the COT high, to make sure the opposing side doesnít overwhelm us.







DESCRIPTION:

E: I had taken the trade at a good point, once delta started to shift in my direction. I had put my stop below the swing low, but prices started to hit resistance at the 1:1 profit mark. I neglected to move my stop to breakeven, but pulled it right as it went beyond me. Sadly, it went back up right after.

F: I was trying to take a second entry, but I ended up getting in right when prices were hitting absorption. The VMA was also flattening out.

WHAT CAN BE LEARNED:

E: If 1:1 is almost hit, just move it to B.E.. Donít fuss over a tick or two.

F: DONíT SHOOT FROM THE HIP, ASSHOLE. (edit: wow, how's that for self talk?)

HOW I WILL IMPROVE:

E: Move your stop to breakeven, once you get close enough to 1:1.

F: I am going to STOP myself from shooting from the hip, at all costs. If I take several losses, I have a tendency to make stupid decisions, and take trades off of frivolous signals. Also, donít enter when the VMA is flat. Also, try and focus on taking second entries. Lastly, stop and meditate if you take two, consecutive losses.







DESCRIPTION:

H: I entered on the pullback, after a bar with a long upper wick showed up. I am using new colorbars, and didnít notice that the bar closed bullish (but on the bearish end of the bar). I entered when we broke that barís low, putting my stop above the swing high. However, bulls started stepping in, and I saw imbalances on the long side, despite the absorption at the swing high. I pulled the trade, which was the right call.

WHAT CAN BE LEARNED:

Keep an eye on the VMA. It was red, but very flat. Also, donít forget Ė big ships take a long time to turn around. There was still very high cumulative delta on the long side.

HOW I WILL IMPROVE:

Watch the VMA and cumulative delta. Also, be careful taking short trades when the bar closes bullish (even if it does have a long wick).







DESCRIPTION:

L: I was trading the breakout of a support level, however, it was pretty weak. I entered, and then prices started to hit support, somewhat. I had realized how far I was down from the swing high, which made me a bit nervous. I set a relatively tight stop, however, I decided to pull the trade when it went a few ticks against me. A big short came in right after I did, however, and we were able to break lower. (note its marked L, but accidentally skipped some letters)

WHAT CAN BE LEARNED:

Had you had a better entry, this wouldnít have been much of an issue. Try and use the stochastic so you are entering at the cycle high/low. I could also wait for the retrace to the breakout area

HOW I WILL IMPROVE:

Going to try and only take entries when I am at the cycle high/low on the stochastic.







DESCRIPTION:

M: This was a short off the retrace. The stochastic hadnít quite made it to the 80 mark, nor had we hit the trendline. Initially things went quite in my favor; I was hoping we would hit the 2:1 profit mark, however, I noticed that the COT started coming in strong on the long side, so I decided to close.

WHAT CAN BE LEARNED:

This was a pretty good trade. You did particularly well at catching the fact that the COT low was increasing substantially, and had the good sense to close the trade.

HOW I WILL IMPROVE:

I will continue watching the opposite side (COT low if short Ė COT high if long) so I can see when resistance/support start kicking in.







DESCRIPTION:

N: I took a short on the top of the bull channel, which I had identified as a possible bear flag. The bulls attempted to break north of the channel, but ran into a great deal of resistance, creating some very long wicks on top. I entered when COT and delta were both in my favor. I had been hoping that we were going to break all the way through, continuing the downtrend, however, bullish momentum stepped back up and we started making new highs again. Despite that, you made the right move to close.

WHAT CAN BE LEARNED:

I had intended to take profit at 1:1, however, we started running out of momentum. I looked at the VMA, and it was relatively flat. When cumulative delta is that great, its probably not a good idea to short when the market is that bullish. If you see an attempt to break north of the channel like that, it indicates strong buying interest. If support DOES step back in, then it creates a higher probability break.

HOW I WILL IMPROVE:

Try to stay on the side of the cumulative delta, when possible. Although it appeared like a bear flag, clearly the great number of longs still in the market were eager to pump it back up again. I will also make a concentrated effort to look at the strength of the bars. I will also watch the VMA, so I can see when there is significant volume behind the opposing trend. Lastly, if it DOESNíT work, I will look for a trade contrary to my own.

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  #52 (permalink)
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Just wanted to take a few moments to post, even if it's just a few paragraphs, so I can internalize some of what went on today. Although today wasn't a home run by any stretch of the imagination, it was a significant improvement from yesterday. I am starting to develop a strategy around keltner bands in setting profit targets, since part of my issue has been closing too soon. I'm also trying to work on holding through pullbacks, and although I did have one drawdown that I ended up closing (that would have been a good trade) I was able to hold through a much larger one, having been down about 30 ticks at one point, and still made a profit on the trade. I am trying to use the stochastic as much as possible as well, so I am not entering so deep into the move that momentum dries up shortly after entering.

My judgment was far better, overall, and I would have made some decent gains, although I got chopped up at the end a bit. We were hitting support right at a high-volume area from this morning, and it was looking like a double bottom was forming. The bulls came in super strong, and I was trying to get in off the retrace, but I underestimated the bear's persistence, and was stopped out.

Here are some common threads:
-Don't take any trades that require you to have a really deep stop (Solution: max 2-2.5pts for my stop loss)
-Look for second entries, if the first attempt doesn't go
-Hitting 3:1 r/r, just to have the trade push back toward my entry, and get out for a menial gain (Solution: two contracts, or just take profit at 3:1 and focus on consistency)
-Watch out for fake-out reversals (Solution: Monitor cumulative delta, and remind yourself that just because the market as put in 2-3 legs counter-trend, it doesn't mean there aren't people biding their time)
-Trying to enter off the pullback, but the stochastic doesn't make a full retracement (Solution: Look at how "full" the bars are looking on the previous leg, or use a volatility/momentum indicator, and don't set your profit target quite as far. Also, for example - if you're long - trail your stop by putting it below the low of the preceding bar)
-Leaving far too much money on the table (Solution: Set them brim of the keltner channel as your TP)
-Missing a lot of the good entries (Solution: Define your rules, and take every setup regardless of how you feel about it at the time. Also, become a master of watching price action.)
-Still having some difficulty w/ tension, while I have a position on (Solution: Take two trades, and take a break, then rinse/repeat. Also, could do the visualization stuff that Dr. Brett from 'The Daily Trading Coach" was talking about, where you visualize holding through drawdowns. Sounds silly, but I'm open to anything at this point, haha).

As per my stated goals from yesterday, and how I did, I'd grade myself:
Holding thru Drawdowns - B
Stop placement - B
Not trading against divergences - A
Timing - A
Fear of loss - C+ (this one still needs some work, for sure, but an improvement none the less!)

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Well, today was another rough one. I let things get a little carried away, and surpassed what I would normally consider a max drawdown level. As it stands, its 11:17am right now, and I'm down just over $100 (which is a lot for me). I have not been actively monitoring my trade performance; I will track my P/L, but I am not looking at the other, more details statistics, such as consecutive wins/losses, average winner/average loser, but I am setting the intention here and now to monitor this data more closely.

I am definitely pretty frustrated right now. There were two trades where I had hit a 3:1 r/r ratio, but I decided to hold onto the trade, and they ended up reversing, and I got out with a meager gain. I am going to be taking profit regardless of trade status at 3:1 r/r from now on. I'm also in the process of trying to learn how to program indicators using pinescript, so I can have a visual layout of my trading strategy, which may make things easier to absorb in the moment. It's hard enough making quick calculations in the moment, with regard to the market energies, so I hope that I can get to a position eventually, where I can simplify these factors and streamline everything.

The rules I am trying to employ are as follows:
-Waiting for a retrace to the midline on the keltner channel
-Using the Gaussian Filter (colorbars)
-MACD +/- the zero line (in my favor) and no trading against divergences
-Using the Fibonacci retrace on the long term chart to identify possible reversal zones
-Once it hits 1:1 r/r, move stop to B.E.; once it hits 2:1 r/r, move stop to 1:1; once it hits 3:1, or pierces the wall of the keltner channel, take profit

I missed a lot of good entries due to hesitation. It's difficult to gauge whether or not to enter, when prices don't retrace all the way to the 20EMA, or the midline on the keltner channel. There were also a couple divergences I failed to identify. I had been using the elders force index, but I brought back the MACD and I think it will help somewhat.

I was able to get a really nice trade right about noon, however, I took profit way too soon. Prices had struggled at the previous swing high, and were backing up anterior to the 2:1 r/r zone. I decided to close the trade, but left a great deal of money on the table, as prices went all the way to 5:1.

Fortunately, I was able to end the day on an upnote. Extremely high volatility came in around 12:50, and the market was moving at 1000MPH. I was actually able to pull off a pretty nice scalp during this time, honing in on the delta percentages and watching the war of attrition take fold. Seeing this success, I decided to disable the overall delta/volume on my footprint chart, and trade strictly off of COT/Delta %. This is in concordance with my new 3 moving average strategy, using the gaussian filter as my fast MA, in addition to a 21/50EMA. Then, I am using my keltner channel for profit targets. Concurrently, use of the market depth that I have stacked with my footprint chart is helping me to identify when momentum is stacking up against me, or in my favor. Lastly, I am applying use of the MACD to identify shifts in momentum; I may not need the stochastic, if I just play among the ranges within the keltner channel, making sure that I am entering on a proper retrace. My goal is to simplify all of these elements, and converge them into solid trading rules, that I can apply somewhat intuitively.

Anyway, I am glad that I was able to make some money back at the end of the day. It's been a tough road, but I sense that, as long as I can make 2x what normal traders do, in learning from my mistakes, as I have been, I will have an easier time, and won't be quite as stressed dealing with the unknown.

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I wasn't sure if I should say this or not, but in time of frustration its better to take a break for the session. I make most mistakes when I'm frustrated and my emotions take over.

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I wasn't sure if I should say this or not, but in time of frustration its better to take a break for the session. I make most mistakes when I'm frustrated and my emotions take over.

For sure, I am getting better at that. Thatís kinda why I took time to journal lol. However, itís easy to lose track of things when Iím in the heat of the moment, but periodically checking into my trade performance should help somewhat, particularly in tracking those consecutive win/losses.

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Unfortunately, I had another rough day yesterday, and it's given me an opportunity to sit back, reflect, and determine an appropriate response. I was listening to a webinar from Brett Steenbarger (hosted by @Big Mike none the less, and something he said [Mike] really connected with me. He states,



"What I see happen over again, thousands of times, people focus ONLY on methodology - entries and exits. They will journal it (and lets say they do this for two weeks) and its NOT working... and by the way, the way most people measure it's working is with P/L - so they decide to change, and now they have a whole new methodology, and they never seem to connect the dots... what they're doing with changing their method every time."



Man, this is me - to a T! I have changed my method countless times, and the relative success that I will see with it, initially, leads me to believe that I have come across something that will carry me forward. Brett added that if you are changing your method, it's usually an expression of frustration, which I can entirely understand. I have gone from trading on very fast timeframes (200 Tick), using methodology I got from TopDog Trading, to using Order Flow, to trading with no indicators whatsoever (like PATS Trading) but the 2k Tick/21EMA, back to order flow, to implementing the volume profile, sizing up, then scaling down again... all over the board.



He also talks about where your talents lie, with regard to your temperament, i.e. are you better at understanding patterns, or are you better with decisive thinking, particularly research, and longer term analysis. Knowing myself, my history, and personal style, I am definitely more of the fast-paced, action oriented trader. I really like scalping, and high frequency trading. With that, I think success is going to come when I can take those personal strengths, and building a strategy around it.



However, in conjunction with those tendencies for high frequency trading are my somewhat "over-controlled" personality. If a trade is not going in my direction, I am very quick to close. I have often missed good trades because I am hesitating too much. I get pretty tilted when I am in the red, and my stress levels affect my trading performance. Given that tendency to become reactive during drawdowns, I decided to trader off of the slow chart, in order to filter out some of the noise, so I'll be less apt to tilt.



I'm on SIM right now, and am currently using a 4500 tick right now, and I have been trading significantly better. Because I'm viewing things in a larger timeframe, I seem to be less apt to enter prematurely, am getting better exits, hold through drawdowns, and am more keen to reversals. Anyway, I'm going to try and keep to a slower timeframe, and simplify things somewhat. I may be picking up one of the biofeedback devices that Brett recommends as well, so I can work on the psychological side of things. And lastly, I am going to make a sustained effort NOT to keep changing my method. Like @Big Mike says, it's not good to be constantly shifting your strategy around.


Thanks for the support ya'll.

-Wiz

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In all fairness, and considering you've only been at this a little over a year... there is a certain amount of time you will spend searching out what works for you, personally. Trying out all sorts of different methods, discarding that which does not resonate with you and revisiting those things that do... the introspection involved and the charge that alone brings about... this is all part of that process, and it's a constantly moving target.

So I'd say don't beat yourself up too badly; virtually nobody hits the ground running in this game, and it can take a lot longer than most people think to get to the point where you are synergistically comfortable with yourself, your personalized method and your expectancy. All the while you will be constantly refining all of it, slowly and surely dialing yourself into the trader you want to be.

Keep up the good work man, have a great weekend Bootz

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In all fairness, and considering you've only been at this a little over a year... there is a certain amount of time you will spend searching out what works for you, personally. Trying out all sorts of different methods, discarding that which does not resonate with you and revisiting those things that do... the introspection involved and the charge that alone brings about... this is all part of that process, and it's a constantly moving target.

So I'd say don't beat yourself up too badly; virtually nobody hits the ground running in this game, and it can take a lot longer than most people think to get to the point where you are synergistically comfortable with yourself, your personalized method and your expectancy. All the while you will be constantly refining all of it, slowly and surely dialing yourself into the trader you want to be.

Keep up the good work man, have a great weekend Bootz

Hey long time no see! Thanks for the feedback man. And I totally know what you mean - there is definitely no "one size fits all" trading method, and although I have experience with a number of trading strategies, I am doing my best not to go about finding my niche in a haphazard way, hah. I like how you said, "it can take a lot longer than most people think to get to the point where you are synergistically comfortable with yourself, your personalized method and expectancy." This really hits the nail on the head! Appreciate the feedback, none the less. Hope all is well!

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So, I am taking a tip out of Brett Steenbarger's book, and I am going to ONLY journal about the positive stuff that has been coming out of my trading (particularly since, in his opinion, the worst kinds of trading journals are the ones where you just harp on yourself, haha).

So, I watched a seminar from "Trader Tom" on trading psychology. Basically, he talks about how so many novice traders will "eat like a bird, and shit like an elephant" so to speak. Meaning, they don't hold their trades long enough, and are usually selling when the pros are adding to their positions. With that, I only took one trading during the normal session today (Sim), but I left it on for three hours - haha (which is most definitely NOT the norm for me). I have always been the type to get in and out of positions frequently, trying to capture the "max profit" and minimize my losses... I look forward to implementing this, as part of my strategy, and train myself to hold through the swings. In this instance, I had entered when I saw the MACD break the zero line, and got out when I saw the market looking like it might be putting in a double top (but to be honest, I was partially just bored).



Apart from that, I have still been reading the Daily Trading Coach, and have been doing some of the exercises. I've also been reading his blog somewhat, and look forward to getting my new Biofeedback device on Friday that he recommended, from HeartMath. The strategies I've mostly been employing have been using the 4500 tick chart, in concordance with the Keltner Channel, taking trend trades on the retrace to the midline, and exiting near the upper/lower channel lines. I'm also using the MACD to find divergences, and make sure momentum is still on my side.

I think fear of loss is definitely at the center of my issues at the moment. I can crush it on simulator all day long, which is telling. I am becoming more consciously aware of it though, in a way that I hadn't before, and it's effect on my trading performance. I have always been a very controlled, deliberate, and focused person... however, I have had a hard time (historically) relinquishing that control to the market. As long as I continue doing what I'm doing, working on my mental game, becoming keenly aware of my strengths and weaknesses, and harbor the discipline to put it into practice, things will manifest themselves eventually.

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As some as you probably know, I have been struggling with my trades for quite some time. Risk management, overtrading, anxiety... all of these have been something that I have struggled with over the past year. Despite that, I never gave up, and I was finally given quite a reprieve today.

I have been reading a great deal about the market profile (specifically "mind over markets") and have been learning about auction theory. I have been paying more attention to tails on the volume profile, and trading the extremes. This was quite contrary to my trading style previously. I had been primarily trading pullbacks w/ the trend, and although there were times I faired reasonably well, I was never able to gain consistency.

I've also been studying about Bookmap, although I am still trading on NT, albeit I have MZPack - a pretty decent order flow suite that allows me to see a market depth heatmap like Bookmap.

MES started nearing the session/VP high, and I could see resistance building on the market depth. If you see the chart below, high liquidity areas are indicated by colors more red in tone, and lower liquidity either black, or closer to blue. Combining these two factors, I decided to take a short, and was able to get in within a few ticks of the swing high. Prices initially went in my direction pretty well, and I decided (rather than to keep my stop at breakeven) to give myself a wider stop, putting it above the highest # of standing orders (around 3070).

Prices went in my direction, and then moved up to test the high again. After it failed to exceed it, it dropped with pretty significant volatility. I was up around 7-8 points when it started to test the high again. I could see a significant number of buyers trying to break through the heavy resistance (my bigtrade indicator, similar to the volume dots on Bookmap, was showing pretty large orders on the buy side, but prices weren't moving any higher). I took that as confirmation, and decided to add to my position. I HAD considered adding even lower, but I'm glad I didn't, as I would have been trapped; patience is something I am REALLY trying to work on right now, as I have typically had kind of a "shoot first, ask questions later" attitude.

Prices finally broke below the heavy buying near the previous swing high, and I could see that stops were being hit. The longs started to liquidate their positions. When we approached the previous swing low, buyers were stepping up, but they started to paint a bear flag; again, I took that as confirmation. We finally broke through, hitting some resistance again @ the high volume nodes, but I was eventually able to close out one contract for a gain of around 8 points. I had initially hoped we would break through the POC and test the lows again, however, I decided to close when prices started to create somewhat of a rounding bottom; I made the right decision in closing where I did because I would have given back a significant amount of my profits.

Anyway, I am really, really happy that I have been able to take what I have been learning, and apply it to the markets. By understanding the volume profile, auction theory, and identify where the high liquidity is, I was able to achieve a very comfortable, effective win. Concurrently, one of my biggest issues has ALWAYS been not holding my trades long enough, however, entering at the extreme gave me a significant degree of confidence. Thus, I was able to hold through the pullbacks, given my entries were in phenomenal position.

KEY FACTORS:
-Using the volume profile to sell the tail of the VP high
-Identifying where high liquidity/large number of limit-sell orders were
-Entering with confidence, being able to capture/maintain a decent cushion
-Adding to my position (and choosing NOT to add without heavy liquidity backing me)
-Allowing my winners to run
-Exiting when I saw a sizable # of buy-limit orders, in confluence w/ the high volume node on the VP

Anyway, just super proud of myself. This shit has been SUCH a struggle for me, but I rejoice at being able to understand and apply what I have been learning. I hope I can continue to trade like this in the future.


MD


VP

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  #61 (permalink)
Bend + OR/USA
 
 
Posts: 54 since Aug 2019
Thanks: 51 given, 140 received

Alright, so in seeing some success with the heatmap from the limit order book, I decided to give Bookmap a test run, and can gladly say I have adopted it as my new platform. I've thoroughly enjoyed the awesome power and the how intuitive the platform is. I'll be switching my brokerage from Ninjatrader to Amp, most likely, and getting the MBO data package from Rithmic (so I can see the order flow at all price levels, instead of the standard market depth of 10 levels on each side).

In employing Bookmap, there is a lot of stuff that I really like. For one, the market replay functionality is ridiculously good. It's FAR less choppy than Ninjatrader, loads much faster, and allows you to record your trading session so you can go back and replay it later. I also LOVE the API's that it comes with; there are 3 different algos that you can use - one that makes your order "hug" the current price by 3 ticks or so, and then consistently fills you when prices snaps back slightly, so you aren't sacrificing a few ticks by getting in with a market order. The second one will actually move your limit order AWAY from the current price if there isn't high liquidity backing you, on your side. The last one will fill you when there is a really big imbalance in the order book, on your side, and will actually close the trade for you when there's a big imbalance on the OTHER side. These strategies can be used in tandem, or by themselves, and can effectively help support your strategy. For instance, in trading a pullback, you can use the "chase" function (the one that will make your order hug price by a few ticks) in conjunction with the escape API (the one that will only fill w/ high liquidity), so you are getting in at better prices, with lots of limit orders supporting your trade.

I was also sent a free license for Bloodhound, which I'm really excited about. No idea if I can use it with Bookmap, but I sincerely look forward to playing with all of these new toys, and hopefully making some money too!

I was really sad to see my friend @NW Trader step back from trading recently. He has been a really great companion and "brother in arms" so to speak. However, I fully support his decision, as trading can be extremely costly, and lonely at times, when nothing seems to be going your way.

I look forward to sharing progress to come, and continuing to make better use of my tools while garnering a consistent strategy.

I'm still getting used to the platform here, so trading on sim for now, but here's one decent trade I took off the volume profile high.




-Wiz

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  #62 (permalink)
Bend + OR/USA
 
 
Posts: 54 since Aug 2019
Thanks: 51 given, 140 received

Alright, so I decided to jump on the Bloodhound challenge, and finally got it setup last night. For one, the install was a breeze, which was pleasant. I was also pretty stoked that it came with other stuff, like Raven - the backtesting suite, and v a nice zigzag indicator that calculates the range of swings for you, as well as whether it made a lower high/lower low etc..

Once I got into the software, I was really impressed at how sleek and ďpracticalĒ it was. Building your system is just like building a circuit, by connecting the different elements, which is nice for visual learners like me. That being said, holy crap is there as steep learning curve. Granted, these guys have taken an incredible complex process and made it as simple as possible (without sacrificing capability), I definitely needed to get on their website (which has a plethora of different videos and resources, all nicely done) on how to do various tasks within the software.

Anyway, Iím just scratching the surface with it, but I honestly feel like the possibilities are endless with this. I look forward to experimenting with it some more!


Sent using the futures.io mobile app

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  #63 (permalink)
Bend + OR/USA
 
 
Posts: 54 since Aug 2019
Thanks: 51 given, 140 received

So there have been some major, new developments since I last posted. For one, I joined Convergent Trading - FuturesTrader71's trading community. There are a ton of video courses that I'm slowly going through, and all are equally powerful. Last night, I spent some time messing around in Excel, learning how to use formulas and drawing conclusions from large amounts of data. I hope to continue applying these skills, so I can develop a statistical edge that will aid the development of my trading plan. For now, I'm going to focus primarily on developing my trading plan, and vetting my edge, and THEN start to focus on trading. I'm not going to engage however without developing a solid plan.

I was able to get a solid trade in on the TopStep Simulator; I started the Combine process but I won't start working toward that goal until I have a solid plan. The market opened bearish (there was news that several, massive companies were pulling from Facebook in lieu of racist material). It turned into an open-test-drive, however, reversing the entire initial balance and pushing outside of a consolidation area. We pushed all the way to the beginning of a large breakout area from last Thursday, as well as the 16th stalkzone (CT levels). I took a short off the retest, scalping in the middle to improve my theoretical average, and getting out prior to HLQ and the next stalkzone level.

I'm also reading "Trade Mindfully" and it introduced me to a really great term - WYSIATI - or "What You See Is All There Is." It refers to the "intuitive mind" that cam get many of us in trouble when we're trading (these are the "gut shot" trades). I'm making a point to look for counter-evidence on all of my trades now, and I'm noticing that doing so allows me to visualize what a failure on the other side would look like - then I just have to wait.


Solid


SolidB


SolidVP


Also, after watching Mark Douglas' presentation based on "Trading in the Zone" several months ago, I FINALLY did a sample size, and am really happy about what I learned throughout the process. I kept it extremely simple - I was trading pullbacks (strictly from Bookmap - no candlestick charts) with a 5 tick profit and 8 tick stop, after a sweep to a new level. My entry was at the low volume node on the chart volume profile.



As per what I learned, I learned that this strategy does NOT tend to work for extremely fast moves, as the pullbacks are often so shallow that I don't get filled. There will be two or three legs until I can finally catch a fill, but given how big the move was, this is often at the beginning of a large corrective phase and I'll get stopped out. It does have a high winrate, at 82%, however the amount this strategy eats up in commissions offset my profits by a whopping 40%!!! Another sample would be ideal, either with a 1:1 r/r, or entering with two contracts - one at five ticks and one at eight.

In any event, it was an extremely enlightening process. I think it will help me to become more deliberate with my trades, and to stop trading so randomly. Repetition will allow me to identify these opportunities, and will help me to get into a more robotic, mechanical mindset, minimizing both stress and risk. Breaking it down statistically is also encouraging, knowing that - if I ever encounter a string of losers - all I have to do is keep taking trades and eventually my edge will appear. Out of 20 trades, I made $112 gross (not incl. commissions), which was sadly reduced by $45. Although I don't think it's entirely practical, with some tweaking, it could hold some value, although I think the most significant benefit was what I learned about statistics/sampling throughout this process.

All in all, I'm making some solid moves, will continue to develop my trading plan, and go through the Convergent Trading material. Once I have developed a solid trading plan and the structure to exercise it, I will start moving on my Combine. I feel really positive about the near future, and the fact that I will be supporting my trades with statistics and a vetted plan. Anyway, looking forward to continuing to develop as a trader and to see what the future may bring.

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