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itrade2win's Trade Journal To Success


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itrade2win's Trade Journal To Success

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  #21 (permalink)
 itrade2win 
New York
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts, TOS
Trading: E-mini S&P 500
 
Posts: 753 since Aug 2010
Thanks: 447 given, 437 received

I really need to get the confidence to enter trades in a trending market. I see the channel, but have this fear about fighting the hod or lod. Probably the best way to overcome it is by making a trade where I would normally take a CT trade.

Strengths for the day: Stayed in trades that I would normally bail out and lose and would end up winning.

Weakness for the day: Not trading with the trend.

Trade #1 (Why I made the entry) DB, inverted H&S (What I did wrong) I lost focus and thought 1112 was the level I wanted to go long, early entry. +0.50

Trade #2 (Why I made the entry) DT, today's open, o/s hi, had a wedgie pattern.mkt really struggled to get there. +0.50

Trade #3 (Why I made the entry) HOD, gap filled, wedgie pattern. (What I did wrong) let it take out my full stop -2.00

Trade #4 BIG MISTAKE no valid reason -0.75

Trade #5 (Why I made the entry) 3 ticks above yesterdays hod, HVN level. Looking to scalp a few ticks to a point +0.75

Trade #6 (Why I made the entry) 1121 was a level of res for me then 1123. -2.00

Trade #7 (Why I made the entry) 1123 was a level of res. +1.00. I had to leave other wise I would have stayed in longer mkt retraced over 6 pts.


Well I made some mistakes today, but hopefully I can learn from them.

Cheers
itrade2win

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  #22 (permalink)
 Snoop 
Toronto, Ontario
 
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Hi itrade,

Noticed you mentioned "frustrated" and "boring" a couple of times. But today, the ES was very normal following a big move like yesterday. Even the strongest trending markets will alternate a trend day with a few days of chop. If you're aware, you can adjust your approach to suit the likely price action. As well, I use certain strategies to keep myself alert, otherwise I can't last a whole session.

Couple of questions for you:

1. Noticed you moved to trading Live over Sim (which I fully agree). Have you determined how/when you will increase position size (ie after certain number of successful trades, days, $$) Gives you another clear goal and helps with motivation. As well, when you get to trading 2 cts, it allows for better risk reduction imo.
2. What are your "stop trading" rules? It seems you let your losing days run longer than winning days. Maybe you're still defining this or I missed it if it was stated.

I think you mentioned you read, Trading In the Zone - not sure how long ago, but might be worth reading chp 11 again. The mechanical concepts are good and you should try to adjust the concept to your style. I re-read certain sections of the book every few months.

Jimmy

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  #23 (permalink)
 itrade2win 
New York
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts, TOS
Trading: E-mini S&P 500
 
Posts: 753 since Aug 2010
Thanks: 447 given, 437 received



Snoop View Post
Hi itrade,

Noticed you mentioned "frustrated" and "boring" a couple of times. But today, the ES was very normal following a big move like yesterday. Even the strongest trending markets will alternate a trend day with a few days of chop. If you're aware, you can adjust your approach to suit the likely price action. As well, I use certain strategies to keep myself alert, otherwise I can't last a whole session.

Hi Jimmy,

Thank you for your welcomed feedback, I appreciate that. I may not have realized that I have mentioned being "frustrated" and "boring" a couple of times. I will keep that in mind. Would you mind sharing your strategies?



Snoop View Post
Couple of questions for you:

1. Noticed you moved to trading Live over Sim (which I fully agree). Have you determined how/when you will increase position size (ie after certain number of successful trades, days, $$) Gives you another clear goal and helps with motivation. As well, when you get to trading 2 cts, it allows for better risk reduction imo.
2. What are your "stop trading" rules? It seems you let your losing days run longer than winning days. Maybe you're still defining this or I missed it if it was stated.

I think you mentioned you read, Trading In the Zone - not sure how long ago, but might be worth reading chp 11 again. The mechanical concepts are good and you should try to adjust the concept to your style. I re-read certain sections of the book every few months.

Jimmy

1. Yes, I will increase my contract size by adding one contract when I have two weeks of being profitable and will add another contract every two weeks that become profitable. In relation if I have a DD period I will decrease contracts accordingly.

2. Good question, I have a maximum daily loss of $200 including commish and will adjust with contract size.

Funny you mentioned Trading In the Zone - I was thinking of reading it again and my Kindle I just purchased will be delivered tomorrow. I plan on reading a lot on the Psychology side of trading where I feel I need the most help

Cheers
itrade2win

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  #24 (permalink)
 Snoop 
Toronto, Ontario
 
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No need to rush trading larger size until you're confident, but multiple contracts allows you to implement some of the concepts from the book.

Nothing groundbreaking on staying alert. I am a big believer in screen time - not passive but actively watching the data, order book, and time and sales. Something you just can't get from looking at historical charts or mkt replay. But this leads to fatigue. So I try to take 15 min breaks every couple of hours away from my computer. Also, midday tends to be a slow period for me (unless it's a trend day or there is a mkt shaking event) so I'll go outside and walk, then resume trading by 130p. I start my day at 400am so I find this imperative to staying fresh throughout.

Love my kindle. My reading volume has increased by several times since I bought mine.

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  #25 (permalink)
 itrade2win 
New York
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts, TOS
Trading: E-mini S&P 500
 
Posts: 753 since Aug 2010
Thanks: 447 given, 437 received


Snoop View Post
Nothing groundbreaking on staying alert. I am a big believer in screen time - not passive but actively watching the data, order book, and time and sales.Something you just can't get from looking at historical charts or mkt replay.

You know I have done this for two weeks while waiting for my girls to back to school. I had mentioned that I benefited from just watching the PA and no sim trading.



Snoop View Post
But this leads to fatigue. So I try to take 15 min breaks every couple of hours away from my computer. Also, midday tends to be a slow period for me (unless it's a trend day or there is a mkt shaking event) so I'll go outside and walk, then resume trading by 130p. I start my day at 400am so I find this imperative to staying fresh throughout.

Love my kindle. My reading volume has increased by several times since I bought mine.

I have a set of dumbbells under my trading desk and I will do bicep curls and pushups several times during the day especially during the slow periods. And I take breaks a few times a day when taking my dogz outside.

Thanks for the feedback!

Cheers
itrade2win

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  #26 (permalink)
 itrade2win 
New York
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts, TOS
Trading: E-mini S&P 500
 
Posts: 753 since Aug 2010
Thanks: 447 given, 437 received

I made a revelation today about myself. First I challenged myself to make an entry with the trend instead of looking for the CT trade and made a point profit. The market did run for 5 pts or so. But my trade objective is to make a point per entry using only 1 contract. My daily objective is to make 2 pts a day. Now, what the revelation is that psychologically I don't want to risk losing the pt profit I just made. I sat and watched a nice DT setup and at least two other trade setups make at least a pt profit and more. I know if I was down a pt or so I would have made those trades. I was in tuned with my feelings and thoughts. I was second guessing myself and I know that's bad. And I know with these emotions and thoughts it is going to distort what I'm seeing on the charts and risk losing the profit made and maybe more and then I may over trade to make my profit back. I did this yesterday and several times in the past. Knowing this habitual pattern I decided to stop live trading for the day.

I'm not sure how I'm going to overcome this. I can't make a living off of 1 pt per day unless I add contracts and that will also add to the emotional side. I'm really not convinced that sim trading after making a pt profit is the answer or maybe just sitting on hands and watch the market do it's thing may help. I can try to be consistent making a pt a day and add contracts to the level of income I need and desire and over time after watching charts for a while and will recognize the best opportunities to make 2 pts per day.

My Kindle will be delivered today so I plan on reading a lot on the psychology side of trading.

My only trade today was a long entry, I made the entry because of the B/O area and I have been watching the 5 min chart more closely than using a 1 min chart I saw the trend and went for it. It was even against today's open and the o/s hi. But we had a 3 pt gap above which helped in taking the trade.

Reading Big Mike's thread Big Mike's day trading method and advice
is helping me as well. Thanks Big Mike.

Cheers
itrade2win


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  #27 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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@itrade2win,

First, from post 21, you seem to have things mostly under control, you just need to keep working on execution.

From your last post... a lot of things here. First, you cannot concern yourself with making a living from trading (1 pt is not enough, etc). If income is truly a concern, then trading for yourself is not, I repeat NOT the answer. You need to find other income and then trade part time, etc. Learning to trade + earning income from trading -- these do not go together, at all.

Second, if you can consistently make 1 point on ES, then you can consistently make 10. The trouble is in what you risk to get that 1 point. That is why sometimes a goal like this works against you.

If you set the goal at 1 or 2 points, and you are down 1 or 2 points and stop trading, then you'll likely miss a lot of opportunities in the market to have earned more.

If you set the goal at 1 or 2 points and find yourself down 5 or 6 points at some point during the day, you've just wiped out many days worth of profits in one day, something that will never work for long term profitability.

I trade CL, and I do trade to a goal. I use a monthly, weekly and daily goal. The least amount of emphasis is on the daily. What is more important on each day is to just trade well, and not be consumed with the outcome. Don't get into a hole, don't make mistakes, don't miss opportunities, just trade well. Over time, (week/month) this will take care of itself in terms of profitability.

If the market is presenting you with the opportunity to exercise your edge, and make money, then you should take it. At the same time, I find that for me personally, stopping around 10am gives me the freedom I want. I no longer get upset or even care about the moves after 10am, or whatever my stopping time is for the day. I've also learned that I prefer to position my trades so that I can be done for the day with just one or two good trades. It's all psychological, and really that means its all about experience. I've learned what works for me, and believe me, it took about learning what didn't work first.

Mike

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  #28 (permalink)
 itrade2win 
New York
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts, TOS
Trading: E-mini S&P 500
 
Posts: 753 since Aug 2010
Thanks: 447 given, 437 received


Big Mike View Post
@ itrade2win,

First, from post 21, you seem to have things mostly under control, you just need to keep working on execution.

From your last post... a lot of things here. First, you cannot concern yourself with making a living from trading (1 pt is not enough, etc). If income is truly a concern, then trading for yourself is not, I repeat NOT the answer. You need to find other income and then trade part time, etc. Learning to trade + earning income from trading -- these do not go together, at all.


Mike,

Very good feedback, thank you! I really appreciate this advice and wisdom. I guess I never look at it this way. After giving it some thought it makes a lot of sense to me. If I understand you correctly, what you mean by trading for myself means to me is trading to become a winner or to accomplish a goal or a sense of achievement. If this is not what you are referring to please elaborate.




Big Mike View Post
Second, if you can consistently make 1 point on ES, then you can consistently make 10. The trouble is in what you risk to get that 1 point. That is why sometimes a goal like this works against you.

If you set the goal at 1 or 2 points, and you are down 1 or 2 points and stop trading, then you'll likely miss a lot of opportunities in the market to have earned more.

If you set the goal at 1 or 2 points and find yourself down 5 or 6 points at some point during the day, you've just wiped out many days worth of profits in one day, something that will never work for long term profitability.

I trade CL, and I do trade to a goal. I use a monthly, weekly and daily goal. The least amount of emphasis is on the daily. What is more important on each day is to just trade well, and not be consumed with the outcome. Don't get into a hole, don't make mistakes, don't miss opportunities, just trade well. Over time, (week/month) this will take care of itself in terms of profitability.

If the market is presenting you with the opportunity to exercise your edge, and make money, then you should take it. At the same time, I find that for me personally, stopping around 10am gives me the freedom I want. I no longer get upset or even care about the moves after 10am, or whatever my stopping time is for the day. I've also learned that I prefer to position my trades so that I can be done for the day with just one or two good trades. It's all psychological, and really that means its all about experience. I've learned what works for me, and believe me, it took about learning what didn't work first.

Mike


This is somewhat confusing to me if not contradictory. If I understand this correctly, what you are saying here is the daily outcome is less irrelevent in the scheme of things and the focus should be on trading well. Look at the broader picture with the weekly and monthly outcomes. So instead of focusing on "I'm down $100 or I'm down xx# of pts." So instead of focusing on the money or even points involved you stay focused on "How well am I trading today" To determine if you should continue trading or stop for the day? When you look at the weekly results it tells you where your strength and weakness are and what you need to improve on? Please elaborate if you mean something different.

Cheers
Ryan

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  #29 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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itrade2win View Post
Mike,

Very good feedback, thank you! I really appreciate this advice and wisdom. I guess I never look at it this way. After giving it some thought it makes a lot of sense to me. If I understand you correctly, what you mean by trading for myself means to me is trading to become a winner or to accomplish a goal or a sense of achievement. If this is not what you are referring to please elaborate.

Put simply, if you are trading to pay the bills, you are doomed. Stop immediately. Get a non-trading job. Come back to trading later.

You need to walk before you can run, right? Let's look at one whole year. If last year, you were unprofitable as a trader, then you are not yet walking. Running would mean you made a bunch of money. In order to walk, you need to go slow, one foot in front of the other, slow and steady.

Remove the financial goal. The goal is not financial. The goal is to walk. This was hard for me too, because I had a hard time being happy with only $100 or only $1000 day, when the week before I had lost $1000 in one trade. It took a while, but I finally realized its all about slow and steady.

Proper risk management will help with this. If your account is 10k then you should not be risking more than $100 on each trade, $200 tops. If you are trading ES, that means two contracts with a 4 tick stop (or 8 ticks if you max it at 2% risk instead of recommended 1% risk). If you are exceeding these risk limits, you are already at a huge disadvantage. Don't be one of those people who says they can make it work with 5% or 10% risk. No you can't

Once your risk management defines your stop, your money management and method will more or less define your profit targets. The targets should be 2 to 3 times bigger than your stop, preferably 4 to 5 times bigger. This means if you are risking 4 ticks, your target needs to be at minimum 8 ticks, and preferably more like 16 ticks. If your method does not give you these results, you may have a very hard time with long term profitability.


Quoting 
This is somewhat confusing to me if not contradictory. If I understand this correctly, what you are saying here is the daily outcome is less irrelevent in the scheme of things and the focus should be on trading well. Look at the broader picture with the weekly and monthly outcomes. So instead of focusing on "I'm down $100 or I'm down xx# of pts." So instead of focusing on the money or even points involved you stay focused on "How well am I trading today" To determine if you should continue trading or stop for the day? When you look at the weekly results it tells you where your strength and weakness are and what you need to improve on? Please elaborate if you mean something different.

Sorry, I was doing too many things at once when I wrote the post. But there is no right answer. I was trying to say that you cannot simply say trade to 2 points, and stop if you lose 2 points. I don't think that works. But I was also trying to say that I personally do trade to goals or limits, mainly based on monthly, then weekly, then daily (daily being least important). So I contradict myself, yes, because there is no perfect answer. For me, I like the goals. It helps me avoid over trading, it helps me enjoy things outside of staring at charts. I've learned to really just tune out of the market when I am done for the day. I am not one of those guys who sweats every move all day and all night, spouting stuff like "I missed this" or "look at that huge move" etc. I really don't care.

That said, a lot of people can't trade to a goal successfully because the goal itself makes zero sense. A goal of 4 ticks or 8 ticks on the ES per day is going to be a very, very challenging goal to make work if your ultimate goal is long term profitability. That is because of the downside, how do you define the risk side, the stop loss side, and make it fit your goal of 8 ticks a day profit? It is my belief you simply cannot trade with that small of a stop to where you would have more than 1 or 2 opportunities per day to trade. I know that I can't predict the market, so there is no way I would place long term profitability solely in the hands of 1 or 2 trades a day. I cannot stop trading after 1 or 2 trades because I cannot possibly predict the "right" 1 or 2 trades to take each day.

Now, if your goal was 20 points a day then I think that may make more sense, so long as you are still only trading a few contracts (not 10 contracts). It gives you more room to set a proper stop, and it gives you more opportunities before you hit a realistic max-loss limit per day to stop. You need trading opportunities because you cannot predict which one or two will work then watch the rest of the day go by and have ten work in a row. It happens, and stopping at two makes no sense for this.

Your goal has to be setup in a way that correctly positions you to make use of your edge. That is the bottom line, I hope my further explanation has clarified it.

Mike

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  #30 (permalink)
 itrade2win 
New York
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Sierra Charts, TOS
Trading: E-mini S&P 500
 
Posts: 753 since Aug 2010
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I have watched the market reactions to the news the past few months and have a pretty good idea on the direction it will go based on expectations. Of course I keep my stop tight. This morning I gave it a test run and made a nice trade based on the DB, we were in a B/O area from the 2:11AM bar. Of course I did this on SIM only.

I'm not predicting the market moves I also look for support data on my charts and trade what I see and not what I think is going to happen. I'm going to create a pre-market journal to record my results.

Cheers
Ryan

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