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Tuglife's trading journal. Focused on profitability.

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  #1 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
Trading: E-Mini ES
 
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
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Hi folks. Quick introduction about me and my trading experience. My name's Mike, and I have invested in stocks for about 10 years. I was doing research on how to play a market downturn and I discovered futures trading.

Through a simple Google search and Reddit thread I came across the names John Grady, No BS Trading, and Jigsaw Daytradr. I bought the Jigsaw Daytradr platform and training, NT lifetime license, and John's beginner Ebook.

I read John's book and went through about half of the Jigsaw training before i decided I was ready for live training. Mistake there, and I paid $1,100 in trader's education. Since then I have meticulously gone through ALL of the training I paid for, and have done a lot of sim trading. Since I am consistently profitable, I am ready to try live trading again with a focus on being profitable.

I trade the Emini with a depth of market, volume profile, swing chart, tick chart, and charts of the NQ and Russell. My style is very discretionary. My main setup I am looking for is a fading a spike off the top or bottom of the range. I'm looking for signals from the order flow and cumulative delta.

An interesting aspect to my trading is that I really prefer trading the ETH session. It feels like everything slows down to a manageable speed. It's harder to get good signals from the cumulative delta, but *very* easy to see when someone is pushing the market around and is running out of steam. That's when I like to jump in.

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  #3 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
Trading: E-Mini ES
 
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
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First day of live trading was on Friday. I made 12 trades on the MES. Won 8 lost 3 with one scratch. I was patient looking for entries, and impatient on trade exit. My biggest mistake was trying to fade the big move from 3:00 to 3:30 lost 2 out of 3 trades including my biggest loser of the day. Down $10 for the day.

Areas of improvement include remembering to turn on my screen recorder. Trying to stay calm and confident. My heart was really pounding every time I got into a trade. Another mistake was letting my worst trade really move against me, with the rationalization that "I'm $50 ahead, I can afford to give this one leeway to get back onside".

Area of best performance was probably trade location. Winning 8/12 is a recipe for success if I can have the confidence to let the winners run a little more.

I will sim trade then live trade the ETH session on Sunday night/ Monday morning. If I have another losing day no matter how small I will take 2-3 days and exclusively sim trade.

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  #4 (permalink)
 mcjackson 
Colorado Springs, CO
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: MT4, Ninjatrader
Trading: CL, NQ, 6E
 
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Tuglife View Post
Trying to stay calm and confident. My heart was really pounding every time I got into a trade.

How are you planning on working on staying calm in trades?

(asking because it's an area I'm always working on and love hearing about other approaches!)

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  #5 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
Trading: E-Mini ES
 
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
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The most important thing is I know it will get better. The nervousness is partly because it's so new to me.

I am doing a little meditation. One subject I meditate on is missing trade opportunities. This is a big one because jumping into a trade just because I think I'm going to miss it is a bad idea, so I can't let that worry me. Another thing I meditate on is staying calm if the market moves against my trades.

Another thing I like to do is loosen up my jaw. Open my mouth an inch and take deep breaths. I know this sounds goofy, but Michael Jordan and Pete Sampras did this.

What do you do to keep calm, Michael? Is it working?

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  #6 (permalink)
 mcjackson 
Colorado Springs, CO
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Trading: CL, NQ, 6E
 
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I keep it pretty simple:

#1) I've got a picture of my family up on the wall, along with a little note I wrote to myself after a particularly bad day promising not to repeat it. Checking in with both as the computer starts up is a good little moment.

#2) Have you read Steenbarger's bit about an emotional "thermometer"? I took his concept and put it to paper, so I've got a physical page in front of me with a little game piece I use to mark where I am. The 3 options are "hot (negative) - cool - hot (positive)". If I catch myself outside of "cool", I physically get up from the computer, go make a snack or take a walk etc. "hot" works both ways - I'll start doing nervous things when I'm feeling "too" great and/or when I'm feeling angry/sad/etc. Happy to take a pic and send if this explanation sucks

In short, I've found the best things are preemptive. I agree with meditation, it's been a good discovery for me too. In general cutting out other stresses in life will help with trading stress. I can point to several periods where I underperformed because of a relationship, other business problems, health stuff, etc etc.

Thanks for sharing (I'll step back from your journal now!!). Best of luck with everything, I look forward to reading more!

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  #7 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
Trading: E-Mini ES
 
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
Thanks: 57 given, 109 received

Wow that all sounds good. I appreciate you sharing that. I suppose when I get past my "opening night jitters" I could move on to an emotional thermometer.

I have a question for anyone reading this. At the moment my style is short term scalper. More like ultra short term. I am trading the MES until I am consistently profitable in live trading. Does it make more sense to have a depth of market for the ES on my screen? The ES is kind of driving the bus in my mind. Of course I could be wrong.

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  #8 (permalink)
Medge91
london ontario
 
 
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Hey Mike,

My thoughts are that is doesn't matter what you use. As long as you are comfortable and feel that it gives you an edge. Trading is very psychological. Those price movement describe the emotions of everyone involved directly or indirectly with the market. Considering that the movements of the MES (or any other market) is solely based on human emotions. That being said I've used market depth and felt that is has just caused noise for my brain. Play around with systems and indicators and get a feel for what you trade. When it comes to the tools you use to help interpret what the price charts are trying to communicate there is no right or wrong. Every one is different.

Good Luck

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  #9 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
Trading: E-Mini ES
 
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
Thanks: 57 given, 109 received

The problem is that I primarily use the DOM and a split volume profile. The numbers are sometimes very different between the ES and MES, yet the price moves the same way. Since absorption at extremes is the most important thing for me, I want to make sure I'm trading off the best information.

I had a very good Sunday evening Sim trading. Tried to live trade the MES but looks like Ninjatrader has raised their margins.

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  #10 (permalink)
 133usd 
Portland, ME
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw, TOS, Firetip
Trading: YM, MYM, stocks, options
 
Posts: 51 since Feb 2020
Thanks: 17 given, 80 received


Welcome TUGLIFE!

Best thing I could suggest is to trade as little as possible, and pick a window of 2-4 hours max. Have a daily profit goal where you stop after you achieve it. I'm in it for the freedom at this point, and hate being too glued to my screen.

I keep a photo of my Son at my desk. It's him who reminds me that I can quit this business while I'm ahead if I need to, and that I don't need to push big trades. When I am distracted by him (toddler), I drop the business for the day to focus on spending time with him!

You've got a long journey TugLife. Hang in there and take it slow and make sure you have some emotional (and financial) support and backing. You can definitely become profitable and make it a career, so long as you don't set the bar TOO high. Be realistic and you got this.

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  #11 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
Trading: E-Mini ES
 
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
Thanks: 57 given, 109 received

All right. Thanks for the advice $133. I am a South Minneapolis boy myself. Lake Harriet area.

Well another day of raised NT margins. I will press up my account so I can at least trade one lot of MES, but my style has started to involve scaling in and out of positions with 1-10 contracts.

It was sim trading today and I had a tough morning. I get run over quite a bit fading the extreme of the range. I am working on paying more attention to my indicators and only trading when I get a good signal, not when it just looks like the top of the range.

I am improving on trading micro ranges. I use the split profile on the Jigsaw DOM. I reset the split profile about once an hour and it's easy to see where the backstops will be in the middle of trading ranges (levels of recent interest). Gives me some good scalps. My last trade was only 3 seconds but I got 3 ticks.

The one skill that's eluding me is entering momentum trades.

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  #12 (permalink)
 josh 
Legendary Market Wizard
Georgia, US
 
Experience: None
Platform: SC
Broker: AMP+CQG
Trading: ES, HSI, Nikkei
 
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Tuglife View Post
The problem is that I primarily use the DOM and a split volume profile. The numbers are sometimes very different between the ES and MES, yet the price moves the same way. Since absorption at extremes is the most important thing for me, I want to make sure I'm trading off the best information.

I had a very good Sunday evening Sim trading. Tried to live trade the MES but looks like Ninjatrader has raised their margins.



Tuglife View Post
I have a question for anyone reading this. At the moment my style is short term scalper. More like ultra short term. I am trading the MES until I am consistently profitable in live trading. Does it make more sense to have a depth of market for the ES on my screen? The ES is kind of driving the bus in my mind. Of course I could be wrong.


I see you talking about NT but your profile to the left says you use Sierra Chart. If that's what you're using -- set your main instrument on the DOM/chart to ES, then set the "Trade and Current Quote" symbol to MES. Check the "Use as trade only symbol" box. Now you have quotes and trade data from ES, but when you place an order, it will use MES.

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  #13 (permalink)
 josh 
Legendary Market Wizard
Georgia, US
 
Experience: None
Platform: SC
Broker: AMP+CQG
Trading: ES, HSI, Nikkei
 
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Tuglife View Post
My main setup I am looking for is a fading a spike off the top or bottom of the range. I'm looking for signals from the order flow and cumulative delta.

An interesting aspect to my trading is that I really prefer trading the ETH session. It feels like everything slows down to a manageable speed. It's harder to get good signals from the cumulative delta, but *very* easy to see when someone is pushing the market around and is running out of steam. That's when I like to jump in.


Many a trader have lost many a dollar by making their primary strategy fading. Without being facetious, I genuinely suggest that as a primary strategy, look to be a buyer when it has trouble going lower, and vice versa. How you do that is up to you of course. There's a certain ego stroke that comes with catching a turn. That's why it's so dangerous to do.

If you're trading ES in the evenings, I'd think you'd want to have the nikkei and hang seng up. Assuming you don't have those contracts, you can use CFDs "JPN225" and "HKG33" on a site like tradingview dot com.

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  #14 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
Trading: E-Mini ES
 
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
Thanks: 57 given, 109 received

I edited my profile to show that I am indeed a Jigsaw Daytradr (connected to) Ninjatrader user. I can have more than one Jigsw DOM up and I'm convinced it makes sense to do so. There are some weird high volume nodes on the MES. I have to have the MES DOM up because i use that ladder to enter trades.

I might be using the term "fade" incorrectly. I am certainly looking for reversals, but in a very short term context. When I see absorption, or lack of participation I enter. If the trade market goes against me I will scale in more contracts. As you can imagine it is expensive when I am "wrong wrong" instead of just a little early. I think this is something I can fix. it's still very early days and I am trying out things to see what works.

Yeah I should be able to trade the Nikkei on NT. The symbol is there. Just no data. I probably have to order that. I have really enjoyed trading the ES at night, though. I don't find it too thin and it was plenty volatile even before this craziness.

Thanks for your advice. You're right, if ego enters into the equation it could get expensive.

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 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
Trading: E-Mini ES
 
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
Thanks: 57 given, 109 received

A poor showing today. Got run over in my first short. I waited too long to flatten out, but managed to re-enter at a higher price. That went OK but missed my target to cover by 1 tick, then went back to almost even before I covered.

I got on good microrange scalp. Then my last trade I just got run over. The I rewatched my last trade on the screen recorder and I think it's a high probability trade that I would take again.

Total loss for the day $40.00. I need to start only trading one contract until I am trading better.

Sim trading also went poorly this evening. My worst trading day overall in the last 2 weeks. I'm happy to have the video so I can try and figure out what's going wrong.

I was just thinking about it. I don't think I'm paying close enough attention to the market. I'm just kind of sitting down and firing away. Will improve on this.

One last edit: Hopped back on to trade ETH just after midnight. I made a bunch of decent continuation trades and scalps in the direction of the move. Limit order scalps sometime feel like cheating the're so easy. Made $2,400 on the sim account in 30 minutes trading 5 lots.

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  #16 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
Trading: E-Mini ES
 
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
Thanks: 57 given, 109 received

I "live traded" on the MES this morning. I think I did a decent job trying to see the market, but I am very uneasy when trading. I am so focused on not losing money that it turns to fear when I'm live trading. It is not working for me.

I made 12 trades and finished down $20. I am using manual stops and cut a lot of the trades after being down 3-4 ticks. In a market like this it is not a recipe for success.

I might ditch the ES for the rest of the week and look for something a little more steady. I am starting to worry the sim trading isn't doing me any good. I can step in on the sim and fire away with no worries, but live trading is a different animal. No excuses for me but it is a little frustrating that I can't trade the ETH session because the margin requirements have been raised.

Two more sim sessions tonight. One was very bad, I lost all four trades for heavy losses. The second one was insightful. I got run over again trading against the move. I flattened out and found an entry *with* the move and came out ahead for the 2 trades. Maybe there is hope yet.

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  #17 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
Trading: E-Mini ES
 
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
Thanks: 57 given, 109 received

A poor sim trading RTH session today. I couldn't read the market at all and just took guesses at a few trades.

Came back on at 1900 PST and was 8/8 with an average of 4 ticks. It's good to have a little success after this morning. As a beginning (unprofitable) trader, a bad morning leaves me feeling unsettled. Actually wondering if I will be able to become profitable.

I am definitely trying to learn from my mistakes. All 8 trades tonight were *with* the momentum. And I am not playing any more games on the sim. No more letting a trade get 30 ticks offside, hoping for it to came back. And a maximum of 2 contracts per trade, no more trying to bail out a losing trade by adding 20. 30. 75 contracts. Why spend the time sim trading if I'm not taking it seriously?

Ended the day down $380 on the sim account.

Goal for tomorrow is to live trade profitably. There is no target $$. Just profitable. As soon as I'm profitable I will turn the screen off.

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  #18 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
Trading: E-Mini ES
 
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
Thanks: 57 given, 109 received

I achieved my goal. I traded profitably on my live account today. I was 1/2 but the winning trade was 2 ticks bigger than the loser. Both trades were momentum trades. It is actually only $1.70 after commission but I am able to look at myself in the mirror and tell myself that I am making progress and that I made money today.

It's also satisfying that my profitability came from a momentum trade. I've only traded for a few weeks but it's better I learn something like this early.

I have never set goals. Ever. This is probably the only time I have ever set a goal in my life. It took some discipline to do this because I genuinely like trading, and would have liked to do it a little more today. But the nature of this goal meant I had to walk away once I was in the green.

Goal for this weekend is to read the first 5 chapters of the trading book on my Kindle.


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  #19 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
Trading: E-Mini ES
 
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
Thanks: 57 given, 109 received

The book I am reading is called "The Disciplined Trader: Developing Winning Attitudes." It is exactly what I need right now. I only read 3-4 pages but there's a lot to digest. I've been learning about futures day trading for about 9 weeks. I am more of a scalper right now and my style is very discretionary. For these reasons, paying attention to the psychology of trading is super important.


Did about 30 minutes on the sim account. I still enjoy trading the night time session. Trades went OK but I cut the last one short for no good reason really.


I did about 10 more sim trades on the night ES session and it was brutal. I lost 8 of them and went in the hole $2000. I forgot to record these trades but I know I started firing as soon as the screen loaded up. Again, if I'm going to sim trade I need to take it seriously or I'm not going to learn anything. And I am also going to stop focusing on these ultra short term trades. Sure they are there sometimes, but I think I could make more money getting in on the bigger moves.

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  #20 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
Trading: E-Mini ES
 
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
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I am having trouble waking up at 0530 PST to do a pre market prep and trade the open. By the time I got up I decided to sim trade only. Made $200 simdollars on 11 trades. I think i'm getting better at cutting the losing trades.

Sometimes it feels like I'm hot and cold. Maybe it would be better if I took less trades.


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  #21 (permalink)
 Trailer Guy 
Boise, Idaho/USA
 
Experience: Advanced
Platform: Ninja Trader 8
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Trading: ES
 
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Ah yes, more is not the same as many. "Mack" at PriceActionTradingSystems is frequently saying just take the best trades but keep increasing the number of contracts. The second part of that is that he says it tales a long time to get over the mental aspect of increasing the number of contracts.

It is also said another way, as in Do more of what is working and less of what isn't.

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  #22 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
Trading: E-Mini ES
 
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Trailer Guy View Post
Ah yes, more is not the same as many. "Mack" at PriceActionTradingSystems is frequently saying just take the best trades but keep increasing the number of contracts. The second part of that is that he says it tales a long time to get over the mental aspect of increasing the number of contracts.

It is also said another way, as in Do more of what is working and less of what isn't.

Thanks for the advice. At this point it's clear to me that I need to switch things up.

Traded the MES for about an hour this morning. I woke up and traded the open but didn't do well. The price action spooks me a little. I keep using market orders to chase spikes. And I was still very nervous (waiting, waiting) to click the mouse. I don't need to watch the screenrecord to know how ugly it was. Feels like 1 step forward and 2 steps back the last couple of weeks. Still, this can be fixed...I made a bunch of rookie mistakes. Probably the biggest one was poor trade location (result of impatience).

Entering with market orders is a bad habit that results in being offsides immediately in a lot of trades. Best thing I did was cut losers quick. So my discipline in this area is improving.Lost $25 in the cash account.

I go to work this week (on a tugboat, hence the name). Internet is good and there is time to trade, but I will not. I think it's time to examine what I am doing and why I'm doing it. I will also watch and record the market every morning at open.

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  #23 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
Trading: E-Mini ES
 
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
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I use the Jigsaw Daytradr platform connected to Ninjatrader. I finally finished the training provided by Jigsaw. I am working my way through my book, too. It's fascinating.

Unfortunately the trading is going very poorly. Only sim trading (live trading would be suicidal at this point). It's hard to pinpoint exactly what is going wrong. I feel like even if this market is thin and a little tricky I should learn how to trade it.

I am open to suggestions if anyone has an idea how I can break out of my slump.

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  #24 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
Trading: E-Mini ES
 
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
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Had a better day on Friday. Sim trading only and it went well.

I have started using the VWAP. I know it will not always be like this, but it was very predictive of the swings on Friday. I am pretty sure that I will keep using the VWAP in conjunction with swing charts, DOM and volume profile.

Still reading the Mark Douglas book. It's eye opening to say the least.

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 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
Trading: E-Mini ES
 
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Sim traded the open and crushed it. It went well enough that I decided to live trade.

It *wasn't* pretty but I had my best day ever on the live account. Made $130 on 25 trades. Twice I came within 1 tick of being stopped out for healthy losses. I am still learning to trade with the VWAP but I really enjoy the input it gives me.

Biggest fault today was poor trade management. I need to work on trade exit strategy and also need to incorporate better strategy for multi contract trades.

Feels good to finally get over the hump and live trade with confidence. I am trading MES and plan on increasing position size to 2 contracts tomorrow.

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  #26 (permalink)
JohnWick4ever
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Tuglife, control your emotions, you have the same issue as i do, trading too many times a day, try to only trade once per day first, keep it for while and look at the result .

I am trading gold future only, 20 ticks is all i want for daily , don't over trade, once you hit the profit do something else, do not touch your account again for the day

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 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
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Thanks for the advice John Wick. I am following your advice today. I had some good trades and turned off the screen.

Best day yet. Live trading the MES $247 profit on 10 trades. That's a whole lot of ticks. Traded for 1.5 hours and things went fairly well. Feels like a breakthrough. I'm going to do my best to keep this up, understanding that losing days will have to be tolerated too.

Chased the big swing down with market orders and poor trade position but I got away with it. One area that's going well is my discipline cutting losing trades. I am sometimes doing it before my "automatic" stop if things don't look right.

The next thing I need to think about is how fast I want to increase position size. My trading account is a modest $1500 and I want to avoid big drawdowns while maximizing profits (of course). I'm currently trading 1 MES contract, sometimes 2. The last trade today I increased to 4 contracts because that move looked so strong.

Big shout out to the VWAP! It really feels like my trading has improved with this on my chart.

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 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
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Pretty rough day today. Lost $390. Roughly 25% of my account size. I forgot to see what the market was doing...and acted like a gambler instead of a trader.

I overtraded all day. Then I lost discipline and let a trade really move against me. $350 of my loss was on the last trade. I had *several* opportunities to get out of that trade. Moved my stop too.

Wow. I didn't see the market!!! I thought my discipline had improved. Today showed me different.

On my to do list: Write some trading rules relating to position size, daily profit goals/ daily drawdown limits. No more sim trading. I will continue to live trade the MES. I can afford to lose 10-20 ticks a day if need be and I think the sim trading has reinforced bad habits. Also I will spend more time reading the trading psychology books and using the psychology/money management part of the site.

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 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
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I spent today at my day job. I work on an oil barge. If you know what you're doing (I do) things move slow and there is plenty of time to think.

My failure of the last 3 days is because of a complete lack of risk management. I think better discipline will follow rigorous risk management.

By focusing on the money I made on Monday and Tuesday I overlooked the very important mistakes I was making. Trading too many contracts is part of it. The other part is not having a clearly defined risk management strategy written down, and followed.

I've decided not to post any P&L dollar figures from now on. The point of this is to manage risk well and trade well. If I do those two things the profits will come. I will post whether I hit my profit target or account stop loss for the day, as it kind of *does* matter if my mistakes or things I do right enable me to achieve these goals.

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 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
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One of my biggest weaknesses is macro level market analysis. Key level indication and big-picture bias would be welcome at this stage of my development. For this reason I've decided to join a reasonably priced content provider. The guy who runs the site is well regarded here and I think this will be money well spent.

As far as cash outflow, I've tried to keep it to a minimum. Lifetime subscriptions to Ninjatrader and Jigsaw were very expensive. I haven't paid for anything else (except losses.) The only thing on my radar at the moment is an "Anchored VWAP" indicator which runs $79. I am really happy with my setup but I would like extra insight in the middle of swings...

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 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
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I traded on Friday and Monday. Something like 30 trades. Finished even, including commissions (which are higher on the MES, sucks.)

I also traded this morning. Three straight losing trades left me limit down. Out for the day.

Two of my trades were in noticeably poor position relative to the VWAP. I also forgot to look at the $TICK index even once. Not good, since I have been using that to dial in trade entries. I also forgot to turn on the screen recorder. ALSO: I knew there was an economic report at 10:00 but I completely forgot once I started trading.

Now that I am writing this I realize that I did a very poor job paying attention to the resources I have decided to use.

Edit: I took a close look at these three trades. They were made within 8 minutes of each other. I got run over twice in 5 minutes trying to go long. Then I tried a short and got run over. Impatient and not skillful.

I think it's time to start writing down some trading rules to go along with my risk management. I am repeating the same mistakes and this might help.

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 Tuglife 
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Today was a work day but I managed to take 1 trade. Shorted MES at 2917.50 and covered for 8 tick winner. This trade felt pretty good. I was patient and watched things develop. This trade could have been a 30 tick winner if I had held it longer. I hope I am able to start trading 2 contracts soon and utilize a strategy that lets me take advantage of runners.

I am now using a SMA line on my $TICK. I like it as I think it smooths out the $TICK, which really whips around.

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  #33 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
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Snatched defeat from the jaws of victory today. I had a good entry for a short at 0900. Averaged up to add a contract and had a positive excursion to 70 ticks. Similar second trade but I got stopped out for zero on both trades when the price came back to me.

I then proceeded to get run over three times. Poor trade position in 2 of those trades in addition to being flat wrong about the direction of the market. I need to be smarter about setting stops, also. With good entries I shouldn't put my stops so far away.

Just flat out bad trading. I seem to be very hardheaded expecting the market to move a certain way. I also need to stop trying to trade every swing.

Two out of three days I am limit down. Silver lining is my risk management is working...when I'm done I turn the screen off.

I am now three months into my life as a trader. In my opinion my technical trading ability is more developed than my psychology. Need to balance this out.

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 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
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Before I talk trading I want to recognize a man I'm thinking about today. On this day 26 years ago, F1 racing driver Ayrton Senna lost his life in a racing accident in Italy. He is the driver pictured in my avatar. Words can't really describe the kind of racing driver or person he was. RIP

I would encourage everyone to watch the excellent documentary about his life, "Senna".


Good day today. I stuck to fundamentals with good discipline. Limit up after 6 trades and then I turned the screen off.

I traded the microrange and let the price come to good entry locations. I still can improve my discipline on exits...I exited earlier than planned a couple of times. I set my stoplosses pretty tight and I think that helped me overall.

I took a screenshot of my setup, and I've written a very basic summary of the Jigsaw + Ninjatrader setup I use. I have used the Jigsaw DOM and other tools since I first started trading. I heavily lean on the "split volume profile" to give me my edge. I wrote the summary for anyone who doesn't have a working knowledge of Jigsaw. Summary was written for my Uncle. He doesn't trade so it's a little basic...


1.This is the order profit/loss column. I can place trades there also. In the screenshot I have bought one contract at 2842.50 and am currently in $1.25 profit. I have a sell stop set below and a limit sell placed above.
2. Volume profile -- represents how many contracts have traded at every price since the session started. 3. Current price. 4. Bid column -- the numbers below the market price are the "standing bids". These can either be added to, or removed at any time. Lots of games played here. 5 & 6 Inside bid/offer prints -- this is the heart of the market. These are buy and sell market orders (as opposed to limit orders). Aggression in these two columns combined with a lack of liquidity is what makes the market move up and down. 7. Ask column (same function of bid column).

8 &9 is the "Split volume profile". Blue side is buy market prints, red is sell market prints. This is where I focus most of my attention. I refresh this column every 5-10 minutes and it shows me a lot about the microranges that play out during the day, where the liquidity (or lack thereof) and absorption are etc. I try to always either buy or sell at the extreme end of these microranges as the price often bounces off the extremes and puts me in the money right away.

11. Time and sales. It's a digital ticker tape. Easy to watch out of the corner of my eye to see when buyers or sellers roll in. I have this set to only show trades of 20 contracts or more. This time and sales window is showing the E Mini as I think the volume on that contract is important.

The chart on the right is a 1 minute "S & P Emini" futures contract chart with the "Swing indicator". The red/blue bands are the "Volume weighted average price" VWAP deviations. This chart shows price is 1.1 standard deviations below from the VWAP. I also have a smaller "tick chart" on the right. It's a 10 second chart and the red line is a SMA, 8 candle period. This is a VERY helpful chart. It's more of an indicator to me. I'm watching it like a hawk before I'm in a trade and while I'm in the trade.

The panel below the chart is the cumulative delta. I am still trying to make this one work for me but hasn't been too helpful yet.



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  #35 (permalink)
tonybravo
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How much is limit up and limit down for you?

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  #36 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
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40 ticks up. 40 ticks down. I am trying to strike a balance between preserving capital and giving myself enough breathing room to trade.

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tonybravo
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I like your idea of setting a limit up.

I need to implement one myself. Today I was up 33 ticks over 5 trades and decided to press my luck with one last trade. I ended the day +13 ticks.

Also how tight of a stop do you keep? I've been experimenting with 8 tick stops but this volaltalility has been wiping me out of positions. I may double it to 16 next week. These are on mes contracts by the way

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 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
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This weekend I will be giving some thought to changing limit down/up to 25 or 30 ticks. I want to cut down the number of trades I make and be realistic in my goals.

My targets and stops are always discretionary. I use steps in the volume profile to determine where they are set. using my "screenshot trade" as an example, my limit sell order is where I would usually put it, but my stoploss order would ordinarily be higher, like 2841.25. Yeah, the range has to hold to the tick to keep me in the trade but if it breaks lower than that I am already wrong. And if I keep my bias I can reenter at a lower price. That being said I am trying to get away from that kind of trade because it seems emotional and why be married to one swing? There will always be other opportunities.

As an aside, the trade on my sceenshot was on my sim account and was a loser. I don't sim trade anymore...trade was for testing purposes only.

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 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
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Took about 20 trades and ended limit down for the day. Even though I waited a full hour to trade, I ended up overtrading. I'm seriously considering creating a daily trade limit...somewhere in the 5-10 range. If anything it'll keep my commissions down . MES commissions are eating me alive ffs.

Got wiggled out of a few because my stop was set too tight. Cut a few winners too early. My "big" mistake was getting run over in the big move at the end of the day. i will chalk this up to failing to understand context. That was such a long, strong move...why did I repeatedly get in front of it?

I'm not going to get frustrated about any of this. The other things I've worked on went well. Risk management, discipline. I didn't get flustered...just stood in the pocket and worked. But there was more guessing than conviction. If that isn't a sign that I'm overtrading then I don't know what is.

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 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
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I was feeling stressed about poor performance so I slept in today and started late. As soon as I turned on the screen FOMO bit hard and I got run over trying to go long as a reflection off the +1SD VWAP line. At lunchtime. There wasn't really anything else to confirm this entry.Poor discipline.

I used 2 contracts with a huge stop. Got ran over and am limit down for the day and out. Within minutes. I am limit down 3 out of 4 days and the day that went right just might have been lucky.

I need to turn this around. Waiting for good entries, looking for the proper confirmation and not overtrading is now at the top of my priorities. If I can't make solid improvement this week I might stop trading next week and just watch the screen.

I want to show solid progress and I'm willing to do the work. The profits should follow.

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 Tuglife 
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I just wanted to mention that I have joined "Convergent Trading." For a beginning trader like me it's been a big help. there are a lot of different resources, including training videos, audio news squawk, chat feed etc. I am getting help from a lot of different places, and the Convergent website provides my trading day some structure as well as very good insight.

It's $100 a month. At this point it feels like money well spent. I will re-evaluate at the end of the first month.

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 Tuglife 
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I put on less trades today. 9 all day. Lost seven of those to finish limit down, which for me is 40 ticks on the MES. 3 out of 4 days limit down now. I have let one bad behavior return. I am trying to fade strong moves for no good reason. Getting run over once, then re-entering and the same thing happens. This has to stop.

Best thing i did was catch the swing low right before lunch. With only one contract I closed it for 8 tick winner but it kept running 30 more ticks. Had my stop too tight on 2 trades and got wiggled out. I got run over twice in the last half hour in that sharp move down. There's no use waiting all afternoon for a trade and then taking two bad ones.


I think tomorrow I will trade the first 2 hours only and limit myself to 5 trades. I will keep cutting the number of trades down until I feel like the selectivity is actually helping me avoid bad trades.

Also if I'm not profitable tomorrow I will just watch the market on Friday. Week is already ugly enough and I refuse to end up 0/5. I literally felt sick to my stomach at the end of trading today. Losing sucks.

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tonybravo
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Sorry to hear your week is not going too well. I too have been cutting back on trades. Its super hard to do, but you can manage.

If I were you, I'd take tomorrow off and Friday. Start the week brand new.

Good luck friend.

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  #44 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
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Thanks Tony. I feel better now. Regardless of whether I trade or not I will have the screen on just to watch the market.

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 Tuglife 
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Took 1 trade today for 13 ticks on one of the pullbacks during the move down after lunch. Turned the screen off.

I don't know how or why but I have gotten into the habit of trying to pick tops or bottoms. The swings are so large these days that it's insanity not to try to get in on the middle of some of them.

The Convergent Trading market analysis continues to be very helpful.

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tonybravo
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Tuglife View Post
Took 1 trade today for 13 ticks on one of the pullbacks during the move down after lunch. Turned the screen off.

I don't know how or why but I have gotten into the habit of trying to pick tops or bottoms. The swings are so large these days that it's insanity not to try to get in on the middle of some of them.

The Convergent Trading market analysis continues to be very helpful.

Congrats on a successful day

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  #47 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
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Thanks. I was stuck in reverse for a few days there. Wow, these markets have a way of keeping a guy humble.

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 Tuglife 
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Spent much of the day just watching the market. Took 5 trades, scratched 2 and ended up 2 ticks down for the day. Plus commissions which is no joke on the MES.

The struggle is real.

I have a lot of self doubt. Unfortunately this includes whether I am willing to work hard enough to learn this. If I don't step it up I think that it's gonna take *a long* time to be profitable, or it won't happen at all.

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tonybravo
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I feel you. I lost $50 today on mes. Every move I made was wrong. Once my account blows up, I'm done with futures

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 Tuglife 
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Hi Tony. In my humble opinion it would be unwise to quit while you're fresh off a bad run. Take a couple days, a week, and think it over. Why did you start this in the first place? Do some sim trading and maybe you'll find you do better with the pressure off.

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 Tuglife 
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So I surprised myself by studying a lot today. Watched a few videos, studied charts for awhile and I think I've found a really good setup. It's clownishly simple and I wonder how long it'll work...I don't know the exact numbers for sure but I think it has P=.9 and R=1.5 (or better). It's a fairly mechanical setup, too. There might be some discretion and order flow analysis happening as the trade approaches but not too much.

Tomorrow I will be printing out 30-45 days worth of charts and figuring the probabilities and stops, and targets. This is the only way to figure this out because it is VWAP related. Manual backtesting. I'm stoked.

Edit: Looked at this trade. I got too excited too early. P=.8 but the R=1. Trade is only available 2 out of 3 days. I will keep working this as I think it has potential.

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 Tuglife 
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The trade setup didn't arrive today. Choppy market so I scalped 8 trades. I was 7/8 with pretty good discipline. Finished limit up for the day and turned the screen off. Turned the screen back on. Few more winners.

I had a scary moment late in the day when my Jigsaw platform froze. I had entered a limit buy order and couldn't cancel it. Restarted platform and order was still there. I had to emergency call Ninjatrader. To their credit they picked up the phone in about 10 seconds and cancelled the order.


I could have done a better job early figuring what kind of day type it was, and gotten some good trades on that range.

Wow the market really changed gears after lunch. My life would be so much easier if I could hop on some of those moves. Save a bunch in commissions and earn a lot more ticks per trade.

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 Tuglife 
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A mixed day at best and man was it weird.

Started out pretty OK, got short a couple of times but sold too early. I ended up a few ticks short of limit up so I took "one more trade." Bad trade. "One more trade". Even worse. Limit down for the day.

The I noticed I was trading on the sim. Back at it, trade selection improved but I am a little jittery the last few days. Ended up dead even at 3:00 and actually caught the first part of the big break down, going short at the -1SD MVAP, covering just below -2VWAP. Limit up for the day.

I managed to stay in a healthy mindset watching the price move down 30 more points after I covered. I just sat there and focused on staying relaxed. Yes, I could have gotten more but I executed that trade just like I planned. As long as I have better discipline there will be plenty more opportunities.

I seem to be scratching a lot of trades. Today was the first time in awhile that I felt nervous while trading. The only trade I absolutely *knew* I should stay in was the last one. I am actually flirting with trading profitability as mid month approaches. I'm at that place where I can recognize some progress but still don't feel like a good trader.


Platform crashed again. I am either going to reinstall it or just do a factory reset on the computer. It's been awhile...

It was a mixed bag today. I'm finally feeling like *at times* I can keep myself from making bad trades. So I feel like today was a "W" overall.

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 Tuglife 
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Slept in because I have been lacking sleep. Took my time and leaned on the VWAP to determine market state and a good entry. Scratched first trade. Let second trade run and it came back. Re-entered and got a good result. Limit up for the day.

Discipline seems to be good. My good trade was close to the end of the day and I held onto it, expecting the market to break down like it had yesterday. I think I let myself get emotional watching the trade run...there were plenty of opportunities to scale a contract and re-enter but I missed them because I was hoping for a big winner.

This is my first week trading 2 contracts on the MES. My risk management with multiple contracts needs a lot of work.

I'm now profitable on my trades for May. I have $180 in expenses for subscriptions and whatnot so I am not profitable overall. This doesn't suck but I am laser focused on the risk and psychological management that will help this continue.

Edit: I logged on the ETH and lost the last 2 days gains with two questionable trades. Something about the ETH brings out FOMO, emotional trading. I can't trade this session any more. Gaining and keeping discipline is a major struggle. All this can be fixed, though. I recognize the emotions as I placed those trades...anxious and fearful. I even entered with market orders which is a big no no for me.

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 Tuglife 
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Woke up late. Saw MES skyrocketing. I put on 2 FOMO trades. First one was OK but I brought my stop to break even too early. Second one was pure FOMO...poor location chasing a spike. Limit down, screen off. Only took 10-15 minutes.

It's so frustrating to *actually be aware* that I am doing the wrong thing, but I do it anyways.

What I just realized is that I have poor discipline in other areas of my life. Why should my trading behavior be any different? It's almost like I'm trying to flip a light switch and "turn the discipline on" when I sit down to trade.

As I got a few profitable days under my belt I could feel my psychology start to change. Sitting around dreaming about how rich I'm going to be or how soon I can quit my job. The fact that I'm currently trading 2 lots on the MES shows how out of touch and undisciplined these ideas are.

It might be time to make some changes. Lose a little weight, take things more seriously etc.

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 Tuglife 
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Started late again, but took my time getting set up and watching the market. Scratched 3 straight and then had 2 good sized winners. Risk management was probably the strongest since I switched to 2 contracts. I've abandoned the "limit up" idea. If I'm doing things the right way there's no reason to stop trading except when I am limit down.

Today felt like my best day in a long time.

I seem to be having better results since I've added the "Cumulative delta momentum" indicator. Right now it's VWAP, $TICK, CD momentum, and swing. I need to add in a volume indicator and I've been using a relative volume one...still tough to use it for good feedback. As always the "bid/ask split volume profile" is my ace in the hole.

When I look at the results of my "idiot days" vs "non idiot days" the contrast is stark. The way forward is clear...

My focus is still on profitability. Risk management and discipline will get me there. I am even on trades (commission included) for May.

Phew.

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 Tuglife 
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Spent time reading "Trading in The Zone" today. Watched @Salao 's webinar. Time well spent.

Looked over my trades on Friday. Not as good as I thought. I took 4 trades in the first 10 minutes. Location was good but I was wrong regarding the position of swing high. I probably deserved to get hit harder than I did. I ended up even, but with $10 in commission. This is hardheadedness, but I saved myself by scratching the trades that didn't look right, and cutting the loser early.

Watched a few other videos and picked up something I know I can use. I was watching a Jigsaw video and Peter started talking about how areas of low participation are harder to manipulate. I see these areas on the bottom and top of swings all day. I might be more likely to enter there in the future.

I only have 2 days to see the entire session next week. I'd like to see more consistency with discipline and results. I'm not sure I want to start posting my setups but i might post some "trade performance" stats from NT.

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 Salao 
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Hey @Tuglife! Great journal, I can relate to it 100%! And I admire your attitude, it seems like resilience comes natural to you. Which is great! I had to learn to not get too down on myself when things get rocky. I find it helpful to remind myself that learning and growth is the only way forward and to focus on learning rather than results. I think a generally accepted tenet of trading is that 'bad things happen when we focus on results.' This seems true as I also need to remind myself of this when I get too high on recent performance. Ha! . So for me, even maintaining a good attitude is hard work. No rest for the wicked, I guess ().

Also, I definitely plan on checking out the "Senna" documentary you had pointed out before. Seems like it could be really good. Trade well!

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 Tuglife 
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Salao View Post
Hey @Tuglife! Great journal, I can relate to it 100%! And I admire your attitude, it seems like resilience comes natural to you. Which is great! I had to learn to not get too down on myself when things get rocky. I find it helpful to remind myself that learning and growth is the only way forward and to focus on learning rather than results. I think a generally accepted tenet of trading is that 'bad things happen when we focus on results.' This seems true as I also need to remind myself of this when I get too high on recent performance. Ha! . So for me, even maintaining a good attitude is hard work. No rest for the wicked, I guess ().

Also, I definitely plan on checking out the "Senna" documentary you had pointed out before. Seems like it could be really good. Trade well!

I hear you regarding learning vs results. I can go back to my best days and see real problems with my performance. At the very least it's a good way to stay humble. And I'm not trying to make myself crazy but what if I could have done a little bit better on the good days too? In my case there actually is a need to pay close attention to results, simply because I am not a rich guy. The losses on the MES, while relatively small, are still real money. I definitely want to keep live trading and don't want to fall into a cycle of having to put money into my account all the time.

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 Tuglife 
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Started out OK. Overtraded. Got run over 3 times in 15 minutes going short. The worst part is the last trade wasn't looking good and I missed a couple of good chances to get out. Limit down for the day. At the moment I have a lot of doubt regarding my trading ability. The only thing keeping me in the game is not screwing up my discipline to turn off the screen when limit down.

It's pretty obvious I need some kind of trading rule to avoid getting repeatedly run over on the same swing. I'm considering a mandatory break after a losing trade. Maybe if I'm wrong once I'm not allowed to trade on the same swing. Got away with it on Friday but not today.

Almost always happens going short. I go back and reread this thing occasionally and I know this is an ongoing problem.

Ongoing problems. None of this stuff can be fixed overnight but I have to keep it in mind.

1. Overtrading

2. Repeatedly getting run over on same swing. This one could be the easiest one to fix.

3. Failure to observe basic market context

What I learned in the postmortem is that when the market shifted gears at 10:15, the CD told the story. My last trade was actually in a decent location at +2SD VWAP *BUT* I was trading the wrong way. Market was definitely trending at that time. The trade should have been away from VWAP. Even if I would have been looking for it I'm still hesitant to go long at +2SD or short at -2SD. I think it's a good way to get run over, but today would have been a great trade.

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 Tuglife 
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Pretty short day. Took 2 trades...scratched one, got ran over on the second one. Thought I was trading a pullback. I was wrong. Limit down.

I missed the setup that I worked really hard on last week. Would have been good for 5 points.

I'm kind of scratching my head. I need to work on my patience, that's for sure. I only have one more day to trade until I go back to work for three weeks. After tomorrow I will take a live trading break for a week at least. I'm trying to keep my chin up but it's demoralizing. I think my patience was improving for a short while but I've backslid.

I also think I've been overestimating my ability, and learned not to be afraid to guess. Very bad habits to be sure.

I might need to go back to one contract. With 2, my risk management dictates that my stop is 20 ticks max, and if I hit that I'm done for the day.

On a positive note, I've figured out a few things I can do that might help.

1. Rules it is. I *watch* the market for the first hour. First trade better look pretty good in hindsight too, or interval will increase.

2.Also, it is evident there are gaps in my skillset. I am going to take the time to read a price action book. Something by Al Brooks to be sure.

3. Discipline must be brought into other areas of my life. I started today by buying healthier groceries. Jesus if I could exercise a little that would be *huge*. I've wanted to do this forever.

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 Tuglife 
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Well I've been at work for 2 weeks and have only been watching the market. I did take one trade today. A bad one that went against me right away. The good news is that I watched the market all morning...didn't jump right in.

My discipline has been pretty good overall. Diet is going well, and I'm working hard. I get plenty of exercise on the job, but I have *never* been able to get going with cardio exercise. This remains a goal.

I have a co-worker who trades futures. He's profitable and has been helping me out with some fundamentals. Not just chartwork, but risk management, psychology etc.

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 Tuglife 
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After a month off trading (and no real studying because work was busy) I started trading again.

Crazy day today. I made 3 trades and was up about 50 points. Then some crazy switch flipped inside me and I decided to abandon my risk management and trade five contracts instead of the two I'm supposed to. Lost my gains and more.

A *very disappointing* limit down for the day. The idea of quitting looks very appealing at the moment. I'm working on fixing this but keep repeating the same mistakes. Easily my most frustrating day I've had.

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 Tuglife 
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Friday I was limit up after 3 trades. I definitely benefitted from the size of the rotations.

Sunday night limit down. I was guessing, didn't have very good trade location. I also violated my rule about turning the screen off after being limit down. I didn't lose any extra money but put myself in the penalty box today because of this bad behaviour.

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 Tuglife 
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Wow, almost a month between posts. I have been very busy with my "day job" and also the internet service where I have been working was not trustworthy enough to trade.

Traded yesterday. A decent entry into the big spike down, then I watched a 15 point positive excursion evaporate. Two more (less good) trades left me limit down.

Today I had 5 trades, 3 of them with decent entries. Order management was good, discipline was good. I was short (again) on a pullback during the move down after lunch. Shorted right at the VWAP. One of the most skillful trades I've had in awhile. It was a two contract trade -- took one contract off and let the other one run. After the excursion ran pretty good I started with a 7 point trailing stop then switched to a 3 point trail after the move appeared to be losing steam. Limit up for the day and screen off.

On the discipline front, I am finally losing weight through intermittent fasting. I have made a bet on a website regarding my weight loss. I have 6 months to lose 40 pounds (with video verified weigh ins). I wagered $600 at 2:1 odds that I will lose 40 pounds in 6 months. I am halfway there after one month. My discipline will allow me to win this money and lose the weight!

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 Tuglife 
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I did not trade well today. Woke up late and missed the morning gap fill. I had one good entry but did a poor job managing it. I think maybe starting the session with losing trades creates a fearful mindset.

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 Tuglife 
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I showed good patience today and also good discipline. I have been very effective in cutting losing trades quickly.

Had one good trade. A short off the 1 sigma VWAP line. I trailed my stop but ended up changing to a limit buy in a logical place.

I finally feel like I could benefit from trading another contract.

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 Tuglife 
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Wow, time flies. I have been working a lot of overtime at my day job. Nevertheless, I am back trading. I've been working on discipline in my daily life, and it is paying off. I have lost 25 pounds on the "snake diet" which utilizes prolonged fasting to reach weight loss and health goals. Look it up on Youtube! Warning: The inventor of the Snake Diet (Cole) has a NSFW mouth.

I traded the last 3 days. I have started to employ a mean reversion strategy, using the VWAP and split volume profile. It's going well. A particular area of focus is to maximize positive excursion. I've been doing a lot of watching and waiting, and confidently entering trades when I get the right setup.

I have made a few micro gold trades, and have charts up for MNQ and MYM. Can't afford to trade the bigger indexes because the stops need to be so huge.

It feels like I have improved a lot in the six months since I started trading.

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 Tuglife 
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It was just you. Title is "Focused on Profitability."

Thanks for stopping by.

I have had a revelation in the last few days. I have always had higher timeframe charts up, but they haven't been doing a lot of good. So I threw up a VWAP on an hourly chart starting on September 1. Aha moment. I've seen my future, and it involves a lot less scalping tics.



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 Tuglife 
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OK day today, but missed a good opportunity. I shorted the MYM late last night, and stayed in the trade like 9 hours. After lunch I convinced myself that the market would continue to be rangebound. Closed my position for a profit, turned off the screen, and no less than 10 minutes later all the indexes broke down. I was *very* tired, so there probably were clues that I missed.

I don't exactly know what took me so long to figure this out, but I am now going to trade with a daily, weekly, and monthly chart open. My main setup is mean reversion and I think i can avoid getting run over so much with the bigger picture in mind. Profits should be better with a higher timeframe as guidance.

Here's what the new setup looks like. When I am getting ready to place a trade I'll open up a Jigsaw DOM.


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 Tuglife 
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Took one trade today, with a mean reversion setup. Good entry but trade exit didn't go so well. I need to concentrate on this. Things should be easier when I am able to trade multiple contracts again.

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 jamrock 
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im not sure why you dont just trade the moving average. sounds like u dont make many trades. scalpers trade a lot. dont believe the garbage about ma are latent. so are quotes being late us also what makes price action work. ma are a cumulation of all actions of price averaged.

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 Tuglife 
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im not sure why you dont just trade the moving average. sounds like u dont make many trades. scalpers trade a lot. dont believe the garbage about ma are latent. so are quotes being late us also what makes price action work. ma are a cumulation of all actions of price averaged.

I will look into trading the MA.


It has become obvious to me that it's a bad idea for me to sit in front of a screen and make multiple trades per day. I still get exited, make bad, emotional decisions. And I am 6 months into trading (basically as a scalper) and I am not successful. When I use this term, I mean that I'm not doing the wrong things, for the wrong reasons. And sometimes I even *know* I'm doing the wrong thing in the moment, but there is some impulse to just do it anyways because there is some chance it would work out.


I think the change I need to make is to trade higher time frame setups. Find the right setup, set a target and stoploss, and basically turn off the screen and walk away. I will have to tighten my game up in a few operational areas, but it's doable.

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 TopGunNote 
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Tuglife View Post
I don't exactly know what took me so long to figure this out, but I am now going to trade with a daily, weekly, and monthly chart open.


Just a thought,

Have you tried putting a chart together with the Daily, Weekly & Monthly all on one chart?
It can help you see a lot of information in one spot.

ES Daily, Weekly, Monthly 2020-09-18_6-40-ET


Looking at this ES chart this morning it looks like they are going to finish this week "Inside" the prior week's range = consolidation / pause.

If they can't hold price above the Globex Open there @ 3345.00 or the Week Open @ 3340.00 we could see this continue lower today - "IMO"


ES Day, Week, Month with 5 Minute in 60 Minute 2020-09-18_6-55-ET


Here's the same idea with the Daily, Weekly, Monthly beside a 5 minute candlestick inside a 60 minute candle.
I like the "granularity" of the smaller timeframes inside the larger timeframes.

Trade well, and best of luck

ES Result Post FWB Close @ 14:00 ET

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 Tuglife 
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Thanks for taking the time to show me this. This is the kind of analysis I aspire to do.

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 Tuglife 
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I have basically blown up my account. This NinjaTrader account plus my earlier AMP account together cost me $2,000. I'm sure if I added in platform costs and data total outlay is $5,000. Unfortunately I have spent most of my life with a very hard head...I should have done a lot more sim trading and backtesting before the real thing. The part that kills me is that I've had some very successful trades, and I self sabotaged. It could be that any success I had was luck, and that the losses would have come either way. The silver lining is that I gained a lot of experience.

I only thought about quitting a couple of times. I decided to stay with it for a bunch of different reasons. Somewhere near the top of the list is that I feel like I have not given this my best shot. I still don't really know if I can be successful at this, or how successful.

Since I decided that I have to abandon scalping type discretionary trading, I need to do the work to develop my ideas into a system with rules. Ideally I would create a totally automated system that I could backtest s such. At the very least I will do significant backtesting using the NinjaTrader market replay.

The first system I plan on testing will be a fairly simple mean reversion system using VWAP to generate the signals and ATR to determine risk management. I would welcome any advice on the best way to start, or even pitfalls to avoid.

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 TopGunNote 
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Tuglife View Post
I have basically blown up my account. This NinjaTrader account plus my earlier AMP account together cost me $2,000. I'm sure if I added in platform costs and data total outlay is $5,000. Unfortunately I have spent most of my life with a very hard head...I should have done a lot more sim trading and backtesting before the real thing. The part that kills me is that I've had some very successful trades, and I self sabotaged. It could be that any success I had was luck, and that the losses would have come either way. The silver lining is that I gained a lot of experience.

I only thought about quitting a couple of times. I decided to stay with it for a bunch of different reasons. Somewhere near the top of the list is that I feel like I have not given this my best shot. I still don't really know if I can be successful at this, or how successful.

Since I decided that I have to abandon scalping type discretionary trading, I need to do the work to develop my ideas into a system with rules. Ideally I would create a totally automated system that I could backtest s such. At the very least I will do significant backtesting using the NinjaTrader market replay.

The first system I plan on testing will be a fairly simple mean reversion system using VWAP to generate the signals and ATR to determine risk management. I would welcome any advice on the best way to start, or even pitfalls to avoid.

Don't take this comment as advice, it's just my opinion.

You mentioned you've "blown up" your account, (twice if I read this correctly).

You also mentioned you've tried scalping and now you want to try a mean reversion system using VWAP and ATR.

Instead of approaching this with the trading style you think you need to use, why not start by defining what you want to accomplish first,
on say a daily, weekly, monthly and or yearly time frame.

Let's say your goal is to make $50 a day trading the micro's or $500 a day trading the mini's.
Or maybe you have a different goal, maybe you don't measure success by having a daily monetary goal, in either case:

Step 1). If you can define what you want to accomplish first, then you can work back towards how you're going to get that done.

Define your goal then your rules, your risk, the hours you're available to do your research, homework and trade, define the time you're willing to spend learning how to do all of this and define (decide) how much you're willing to spend (by way of "blown up" accounts) getting to that goal you defined in step 1.

I think you'll find it time well spent.

Good luck on your journey.
John B.

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  #78 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
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This all makes sense to me. I am working towards building a more systematic approach to my trading, and it makes sense to create a more systematic approach to my work and goals as well.

I appreciate your advice.

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 Tuglife 
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Thanks: 57 given, 109 received

Well I have stayed at it, been studying trading every day. I don't actually trade every day. I am still not consistent but I'm concentrating on fundamentals to get there. I've started using stop limit orders for trade entry sometimes and have had some success. It seems like using limit orders often I'm fighting the market and trying to pick tops and bottoms. With the stop limit orders it is easier to get into the middle of a move by identifying where other traders are going to be stopped out.

I am still leaning heavily on VWAP, split volume profile, and the TICK index. Overall I would say my trading is getting better simply because I am more experienced and able to better identify why things go right and why they go wrong. A heartfelt thank you goes to the traders who have commented in this thread and given advice.


Edit: An off topic reminder for anyone who loves motorsport to tune into the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix this weekend. F1 returns to the legendary Imola track for the first time in 15 years and it should be a great race. A primer on the racecourse...

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  #80 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
Trading: E-Mini ES
 
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
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I feel like I am at another crossroads. I am definitely starting to trade better, but the focus on profitability can make me erratic. This leads me to have a couple of good days, and then I go tilt if the next day goes against me.

Well here I am again with a couple of good days under my belt. I know this is like shooting a free throw. Ball doesn't make it in the basket if my feet aren't pointed straight, knees bent, shoulders square, etc. Although I am getting better at the fundamentals I definitely am not good enough to just sleepwalk through a trade. I still have to really concentrate.

One thing that's popped up a few times recently is I get into a trade and it just kind of wanders around the breakeven point. I think there is a point where it could go either way. At that point I've lost my edge and I should close out the trade.

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  #81 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
Trading: E-Mini ES
 
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
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The struggle is real. I have been trading by just turning the screen on and firing trades off. No prep, no review or journaling.

In a way it is fortunate that I have had an atrocious couple of weeks. It is obvious that my process is flawed, and my work ethic is lacking.

I have been doing a good job of not trading until I can get my process turned around. I will soon have a few weeks vacation and will endeavor to make it a "working vacation".

Edit: None of this is surprising. The right way to do things is plastered all over the internet. Test, trade, journal. This journal is the only one I keep, and it is more of an "accountability journal" than an actual trade journal. At this point, because I have not approached this the right way, I don't even know what my best and worst trades are.

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  #82 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
Trading: E-Mini ES
 
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
Thanks: 57 given, 109 received

I continue to lack the motivation to make this work. I'm still not exercising, and not waking up for the market open. 0630 wake up is an adjustment for me and it's been a hard one. It's not good. The one thing I have working is the weight loss. I wouldn't think this is the cause of my lack of energy but I don't know.

Regarding the nuts and bolts of my chart setup, it seems good. I have VWAP's up in multiple timeframes. I moved the ^TICK chart to a panel below the main panel, and I'm running a SMA on it to gauge whether money is moving in or out of the indexes. I've just started using the ATR. I plan on using it to define trailing stop values but haven't figured that out yet. The one thing I think I need to add is some kind of volume indicator. The last one I used was a "relative volume" indicator.

I have started watching the RTY. There was a decent "VWAP test long" this morning. This is the second day that, had I bothered to show up, the setups were there and would have worked.

Even though this is a slightly negative post, it's an honest assessment. I can also honestly say that my knowledge and skill as a trader is light years ahead of where I was 6 months ago.

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  #83 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
Trading: E-Mini ES
 
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
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I have been studying charts every day. Yesterday I took my first trade in several months. A couple things are obvious.

I need more time practice trading. Setups always look really obvious in retrospect. Doing it in real time is tough. Yesterday I missed a couple of very good setups just because I was being too "careful." This is code for fearful. I hope more sim trading will help with this.

I am still struggling with setting the right stop loss.

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  #84 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
Thanks: 57 given, 109 received

I am re-reading the book I started last year "The Disciplined Trader". Mark Douglas. I really hope to finish it this time.

I can tell from the outset I need more experience and testing of my trading rules to be the kind of trader he is trying to teach his readers to be. Confidence in outcomes is what will allow me to be confident in entering these trades. And just as important, *managing* these trades. And waiting for these trades.

Still watching the charts. A CL monthly VWAP with 60 minute bars would have yielded a very good outcome this month. I am still developing trading rules, and having fun doing it. They provide lots of opportunities.

I have quite an assortment of VWAP SD lines on the chart. This is kind of what I envisioned when I first started learning about VWAP, and it really suits a deep dive to how price finds it's support and resistance relative to the standard deviations (and fractions thereof.)


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  #85 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
Thanks: 57 given, 109 received

I have had a breakthrough. My trading rules have yielded a system which generates high probability entries. As always, this system needs testing before it can be used. I'm certain the trade (risk) management will be the key to making it profitable.

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  #86 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
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I will probably start a thread asking for advice about this, but I wanted to do it here, too.

I have largely figured out my trading rules and now want to backtest them. My plan is to use "automated trade management" on Ninjatrader, running their market replay. They have a cool ATM feature that lets you run "shadow strategies" simultaneously. I might run 3 or 4 at the same time.

I plan on entering my results into an Excel spreadsheet with different columns. Time and day of week, price position relative to VWAP are a few of the columns I am considering. My goal is to establish probabilities and also prepare for the times when my rules aren't working. I am hoping to use Excel to establish market conditions that are the most favorable so I can adjust position size and perhaps learn to understand market conditions that I should avoid.

I welcome any feedback regarding my plan.

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  #87 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
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Although I don't have the hard data regarding probability, I felt comfortable to take a live trade last night. It was just a small short scalp on the ES. I entered the trade according to my ruleset, but my chimp brain tried to get me to abandon these rules once in the trade. Total time in was 45 minutes and price wiggled around long enough for me to come to my senses and close the trade at it's target. Still a lot of work to be done on this front.

The market is making a lot more sense than when I started trading one year ago. I have been putting in a lot of time studying charts and I think my current setup allows me to gauge market intent. In the words of one poster here, I am having more success "seeing what the market is trying to do and how well it is doing it."

I have been living like a monk the last 6 months, getting my financial house in order in order to comfortably fund a trading account. I will be live trading regularly again, soon. First order of business is *still* to read a book about Excel, as I believe proficiency with that is key to my success.

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 Massive l 
Legendary Market Wizard
Portland, OR
 
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I don't have much to add but just wanted to say keep going. You will need to trade without emotional attachment. data driven strategy You're on the right track with excel. I use google docs (same) to show my backtested metrics vs current live trading metrics. Keep your strategies fairly simple. A lot of it is risk management. Most importantly do they make sense to you? Does it align with your beliefs on how the market works? How price and volume work together? When market is trending, consolidating. If you're not sure or you don't feel good about your trade, then be prepared to exit. Don't hold losers. And if you keep losing then stop what you are doing and reassess. It took me a long time to be consistent. This is a business and has to be treated like one. You have to be super strict or you will go bust! What you do needs to make sense and you need the data to prove it.

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  #89 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
Thanks: 57 given, 109 received

I have adjusted my rules to create a strategy that is more conservative. Less trades, and a lot less losers.

A very big development is that I will soon start to use the "Alerts" system in Ninjatrader in conjunction with ATM, to automate my rules based system. The system is comically simple, but appears to work well. I will soon have the data to know if I am on the right path, or maybe how to find the right path.

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  #90 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
Trading: E-Mini ES
 
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
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Long story short, my strategy was too complicated to set up by alerts. The strategy has also proven erratic. A part of me feels like I should just throw up long term charts and trade longer term (bigger) moves and abandon short term trading.

This is an interesting look at the CL chart. I anchored the VWAP at the start of the big run on February 1. These high time frame VWAP tests always look so clean in the rearview.


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  #91 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
Trading: E-Mini ES
 
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
Thanks: 57 given, 109 received

Another interesting screengrab. This is a 60 day VWAP of the 6E. Boy, sell at -1.25 SD and buy at -1.75 SD. Would have been good. This is an early version of my strategy.

I am out in the weeds a little. I am 80% sure my strategy would work, but there are hurdles. I believe now that I must use an automated strategy, but don't know how to code, and the nature of my strategy presents difficulties for the NT8 "strategy builder."



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  #92 (permalink)
 Tuglife 
Escondido CA USA
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: Jigsaw Daytradr + Ninjatr
Trading: E-Mini ES
 
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Posts: 118 since Jan 2020
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This is a long winded post, and I am openly seeking help. I am open to suggestions by post or PM. If someone thinks it doesn't make sense using the "Strategy Builder" and would be better to use a custom coded strategy to test this, I am all ears. Ditto regarding this strategy...does it look viable? After eyeballing charts for weeks I think it is, but only with careful risk management. I am also open to some suggestions for kind of filter, to try and enter on the side of market strength...at present these strategies are simply "go long at this line, go short at that line". They don't use context, day type, any of that stuff.


The trade I took yesterday is indicated by red arrows on the right side of the chart. Went short and got stopped out. It's interesting that the same level offered a winning trade next time it was visited. I could have either benefited by a bigger stop, or a smaller stop and entry next time price came back.



The chart is a 45 day VWAP of the 6E. My strategy says go short when price moves from -1.25 SD (pink line) to -1.5 SD (blue line) then back to -1.25 while staying below -1.0 SD (black line). I guess it is a second entry strategy, but there are opportunities for third and fourth entries until a "reset" when price moves above -1.0 SD, or below -2 SD.

This is a modification of what @JonnyBoy calls a "standard deviation continuation short", but mofified to trigger when price comes from -1.5 SD instead of -2 SD. My strategy Uses the same levels above the VWAP (go long at 1.25 SD) as well as longs and shorts triggered by price action measured by SD's from a long term VWAP. Although a few of these setups were represented in that thread, namely "VWAP test long and short.", instead of using a "session" VWAP, I have explored longer range VWAPS.



I need to backtest my strategy. I suppose I will soon be asking for help regarding the in's and out's of backtesting and automated strategies, I first need to find a long term VWAP that works with NT8's strategy builder.

I am open to suggestions by post or PM. If someone thinks it doesn't make sense using the "Strategy Builder" and would be better to use a custom coded strategy, I am all ears. Ditto regarding this strategy...does it look viable? After eyeballing charts for weeks I think it is, but only with careful risk management.

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