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Confidence & Consistency journal


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Confidence & Consistency journal

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  #1 (permalink)
Sumy, Ukraine
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader
 
AlexSobol's Avatar
 
Posts: 38 since Apr 2019
Thanks: 107 given, 64 received

Hello everyone and welcome to my journal! New year has come and it is great opportunity to start from a blank page.

I have come a long way. I tried many indicators/systems and read tons of books about different styles and approaches. It was searching for some kind of Holy Grail:
  1. Search on internet or books for some setup (combination of 1-2 indicators or idea like “gaps are most likely will be filled”).
  2. Test it manually on historical data for 1-2 years on different instruments on different timeframes or tick charts. Mark every trade in Excel and take chart screenshot.
  3. If system looks bad, go to 1.
  4. If it is good, try it on paper trading.
  5. Miss good trades, take bad trades, get a losing streak (3-4 trades) and go to 1 (Even if you Excel statistic tells you that 4 losing trades it’s fine and you should always take every trade).

I repeated this algorithm over and over again. Now looking back some systems was not bad at all, some of them are profitable. However, my psychology does not allow me to trade them properly. Losing trades and losing streaks are parts of every system; there is no Holy Grail in this world. Systems are not perfect and traders are not perfect. Every trader makes mistakes sometimes. The task here is to get enough Confidence to overcome mistakes, losing trades and streaks without any affection of trading style. Just do what you did previous 10, 100, 1000 trades ago. It’s called Consistency which comes from Confidence. It in turn comes with Experience but how to start if you don’t have it?

After realizing that the problem isn’t systems the problem is lacking Confidence I started reading trading journals at this site. I was looking for someone to trade side by side. Many of journals are too complicated for me. Moreover, many traders just use their gut feel and they can’t explain why they took this signal but skipped that. Experience. However, I believe it should not only be reasons to take trades but reasons to skip them. At least trader should explain why he doesn’t like it. If someone relies on gut feel, I’m ok with that. As long as it works. But personally I don’t like it.

Then I discovered PATsTrading. After thousands hours of Unirenko Mack’s charts looked very difficult to read. However, when I saw how long he does those videos... Since the fall of 2011. Same system, same chart, same instrument, only one indicator. Impressive. So I gave it a try. I stopped looking for another system, left any tries to make algosystem (the hardest part) and stopped reading this forum. Just to be fully concentrated on Mack’s system. It took almost 6 months before I could say “Ok, I get it”. Not 100% but enough to start this journal. I still struggle with trendlines (especially small ones in a big trend) and measured moves. In addition, I don't take some trades that he marks as risky but I often take trades that he doesn't wanna mark because it's too risky. It's not possible to copy his trades 100% but I don't need to.

Why do I like this system?
  • Only 1 indicator. There is no need to use fancy and sophisticated stuff with thousands lines of code.
  • It’s possible to trade trend and range days. Range or even choppy days are not a problem anymore.
  • At least 1-2 good set ups every morning. Even if low volatility day.
  • Scalp and run technique. Scalps are bread and butter trades. Runners more often than not become breakeven trades. However, their profits are bigger than scalp trades combined, so it’s the best of both worlds.

TRADING PLAN

Trend day:
  • 2nd entries
  • breakout pullbacks (from a small range, with trend)
  • 2-legged pullbacks to the EMA
  • traps

Range day:
  • failed 2nd entries
  • fading off High/Low sides of a range
  • fading breakouts/double tests (watch DT/DB)
  • traps

+Good signal bars for all trades and be careful with inside bars!

Things to improve:
  • discipline – I should treat trading like a real job. Everyday at 8:00 EST I should start my work. The problem here is that my local time is 3:00 PM and I find myself more productive at morning than in afternoon. Trading FDAX or CL is not an option for me. I wanna trade ES. I hope I’ll develop a habit.
  • psychology – Confidence and Consistency. Even after losing streaks. There is no place for tilt.
  • small trendlines in a big trend (wait for LH/HL to be sure)
  • measured moves
  • runners management
  • trading in high volatility days (when >2 pts. stop is required)

Indicators:
  • EMA (21) – blue line.
  • PriorDayOHLC – yesterday’s High(green), Low(red), Close(cyan).
  • OpeningPrice – price at 9:30 AM EST, orange line.
  • ColorRegions – blue region 03:00 PM – 08:00 AM EST, green region 08:00 AM – 9:30 AM EST.
  • ATR – range of one bar (only visible on mouse wheel data box).
  • DollarRange – range of one bar in $ (only visible on mouse wheel data box).
  • mahToolBar4 – drawing toolbar.
  • UniversalCounter – tick counter.

Drawing:
  • Arrows – red and blue - signal bars, white – execution markers plotted by NT8.
  • Lines – support/resistance or trendlines.
  • Arrowlines – measured moves.
  • Triangles – missed or risky trades I didn’t take.

I solemnly promise to post every trade here even the worst ones.

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  #3 (permalink)
Sumy, Ukraine
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader
 
AlexSobol's Avatar
 
Posts: 38 since Apr 2019
Thanks: 107 given, 64 received


Range day with a small breakout after 11:30.
1 trade - breakeven (count as a loss).


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  #4 (permalink)
Bangor, Maine, U.S.
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: NinjaTrader 8
Trading: MNQ
 
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Posts: 536 since Sep 2018
Thanks: 2,063 given, 2,247 received

This is deep, but it's very relevant.

Confidence: the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust.

As a person and a trader, I've given myself many reasons not to trust myself. I've undermined my own confidence by being undecided and uncommitted to things. I've lied to myself and went against my own word, I've contradicted myself, and even worse, I have desensitized myself to it. This is the reason why people rot (and why I'm so adamant on change), and why people continue to do stupid things. They give up their conscience, not because they're inherently bad, but because they're in pain and want to remain in control. Not only that, most end up rewarding themselves for this kind of behavior in one way or another. There are distractions available to all, too. Sufferers find comfort somewhere along the way, and that's enough to keep them there. At this point in my life, I believe confidence comes from knowing you'll do the right thing when the time comes. It's from having the experience of not letting yourself down, and sometimes it's from the encouragement and care of others. You can only know (be confident) by doing, and you can only do when you're decided. Hopefully, if or when you decide, it isn't a lie.


Forgive and respect yourself as you would a mentor or a child. Your say matters just as much, if not more. It's your life after all.

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  #5 (permalink)
Legendary Market Wizard
Los Angeles CA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader, TOS
Broker: NinjaTrader, TD
Trading: GC, MGC
 
Salao's Avatar
 
Posts: 763 since Jun 2017
Thanks: 5,794 given, 3,086 received


AlexSobol View Post
Hello everyone and welcome to my journal! New year has come and it is great opportunity to start from a blank page.

I have come a long way. I tried many indicators/systems and read tons of books about different styles and approaches. It was searching for some kind of Holy Grail:
  1. Search on internet or books for some setup (combination of 1-2 indicators or idea like “gaps are most likely will be filled”).
  2. Test it manually on historical data for 1-2 years on different instruments on different timeframes or tick charts. Mark every trade in Excel and take chart screenshot.
  3. If system looks bad, go to 1.
  4. If it is good, try it on paper trading.
  5. Miss good trades, take bad trades, get a losing streak (3-4 trades) and go to 1 (Even if you Excel statistic tells you that 4 losing trades it’s fine and you should always take every trade).

I repeated this algorithm over and over again. Now looking back some systems was not bad at all, some of them are profitable. However, my psychology does not allow me to trade them properly. Losing trades and losing streaks are parts of every system; there is no Holy Grail in this world. Systems are not perfect and traders are not perfect. Every trader makes mistakes sometimes. The task here is to get enough Confidence to overcome mistakes, losing trades and streaks without any affection of trading style. Just do what you did previous 10, 100, 1000 trades ago. It’s called Consistency which comes from Confidence. It in turn comes with Experience but how to start if you don’t have it?

After realizing that the problem isn’t systems the problem is lacking Confidence I started reading trading journals at this site. I was looking for someone to trade side by side. Many of journals are too complicated for me. Moreover, many traders just use their gut feel and they can’t explain why they took this signal but skipped that. Experience. However, I believe it should not only be reasons to take trades but reasons to skip them. At least trader should explain why he doesn’t like it. If someone relies on gut feel, I’m ok with that. As long as it works. But personally I don’t like it.

Then I discovered PATsTrading. After thousands hours of Unirenko Mack’s charts looked very difficult to read. However, when I saw how long he does those videos... Since the fall of 2011. Same system, same chart, same instrument, only one indicator. Impressive. So I gave it a try. I stopped looking for another system, left any tries to make algosystem (the hardest part) and stopped reading this forum. Just to be fully concentrated on Mack’s system. It took almost 6 months before I could say “Ok, I get it”. Not 100% but enough to start this journal. I still struggle with trendlines (especially small ones in a big trend) and measured moves. In addition, I don't take some trades that he marks as risky but I often take trades that he doesn't wanna mark because it's too risky. It's not possible to copy his trades 100% but I don't need to.

Why do I like this system?
  • Only 1 indicator. There is no need to use fancy and sophisticated stuff with thousands lines of code.
  • It’s possible to trade trend and range days. Range or even choppy days are not a problem anymore.
  • At least 1-2 good set ups every morning. Even if low volatility day.
  • Scalp and run technique. Scalps are bread and butter trades. Runners more often than not become breakeven trades. However, their profits are bigger than scalp trades combined, so it’s the best of both worlds.

TRADING PLAN

Trend day:
  • 2nd entries
  • breakout pullbacks (from a small range, with trend)
  • 2-legged pullbacks to the EMA
  • traps

Range day:
  • failed 2nd entries
  • fading off High/Low sides of a range
  • fading breakouts/double tests (watch DT/DB)
  • traps

+Good signal bars for all trades and be careful with inside bars!

Things to improve:
  • discipline – I should treat trading like a real job. Everyday at 8:00 EST I should start my work. The problem here is that my local time is 3:00 PM and I find myself more productive at morning than in afternoon. Trading FDAX or CL is not an option for me. I wanna trade ES. I hope I’ll develop a habit.
  • psychology – Confidence and Consistency. Even after losing streaks. There is no place for tilt.
  • small trendlines in a big trend (wait for LH/HL to be sure)
  • measured moves
  • runners management
  • trading in high volatility days (when >2 pts. stop is required)

Indicators:
  • EMA (21) – blue line.
  • PriorDayOHLC – yesterday’s High(green), Low(red), Close(cyan).
  • OpeningPrice – price at 9:30 AM EST, orange line.
  • ColorRegions – blue region 03:00 PM – 08:00 AM EST, green region 08:00 AM – 9:30 AM EST.
  • ATR – range of one bar (only visible on mouse wheel data box).
  • DollarRange – range of one bar in $ (only visible on mouse wheel data box).
  • mahToolBar4 – drawing toolbar.
  • UniversalCounter – tick counter.

Drawing:
  • Arrows – red and blue - signal bars, white – execution markers plotted by NT8.
  • Lines – support/resistance or trendlines.
  • Arrowlines – measured moves.
  • Triangles – missed or risky trades I didn’t take.

I solemnly promise to post every trade here even the worst ones.

Great intro post! I can relate to your trading experiences, that's for sure. And it seems like we take a lot of the same setups (based on your Trading Plan). I'm a price-action trader as well, but more of the Brooks style, than Mack's. But the two styles seem to be related, cousins maybe. .

If you stick to journaling, over time, you will definitely realize a cumulative benefit from all the repeated introspection. I've been journaling daily for a year, and I believe it has been beneficial. And the feedback you will receive from FIO traders will be awesome as well. If you're serious about trading, you are in the right place. I look forward to following. Trade well!

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  #6 (permalink)
Sumy, Ukraine
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader
 
AlexSobol's Avatar
 
Posts: 38 since Apr 2019
Thanks: 107 given, 64 received

I had to draw red channel. And I actually did before breakout but I was thinking "but we are in the middle of the range, those lines will not work" so I removed it. But I didn't draw it after breakout. And it was pretty convincing breakout and I saw it.

I though it's resistance from Friday so it should be strong. Overnight reverse confirmed that. But we didn't get convincing support. I should have thought about this.


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  #7 (permalink)
Sumy, Ukraine
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader
 
AlexSobol's Avatar
 
Posts: 38 since Apr 2019
Thanks: 107 given, 64 received

Tight trading range but it was easier to read price action (compare to yesterday) Missed some trades but it's ok.
1 trade + 1 pts.


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  #8 (permalink)
New York + New York / USA
 
 
Posts: 76 since Jan 2020
Thanks: 2 given, 84 received

Since i am not Tristram, the holy grail was not what i was searching for in my reading and all that studying

no... i have done heavy study to learn before, and its more akin to moving 10 tons of dirt to find a few grams of gold.
over time, it becomes more and more like that as they say the same things and you start to notice the difference between meaningful sentences, and almost meaningful sentences...

including the plethora of iron pyrite (fools gold)

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  #9 (permalink)
Sumy, Ukraine
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader
 
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Posts: 38 since Apr 2019
Thanks: 107 given, 64 received

Great move at morning but no good set ups. I was distracted and took bad trade. It was pretty obvious that it's uptrend and I had to looking for long set ups. But instead of anticipation I reacted.

1 trade: -1 pts.


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  #10 (permalink)
Sumy, Ukraine
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader
 
AlexSobol's Avatar
 
Posts: 38 since Apr 2019
Thanks: 107 given, 64 received


No trades today. Not many set ups. It still hard for me to trade range days. It feels like I try to take contertrend trades but it's not. It's a psychological problem.

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