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JMAL's What was I Thinking Trading Journal


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JMAL's What was I Thinking Trading Journal

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  #1 (permalink)
Houston Texas
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader 7
Broker: NinjaTrader Brokerage
Trading: ES, MES
 
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Posts: 47 since Jul 2014
Thanks: 16 given, 27 received

Thought I would start a journal, any and all thoughts or suggestions appreciated.

Market: E-mini S&P 500 (ES), Micro E-mini S&P 500 (MES)

Number years sim trading and live trading: 6

Number of live trades made in 6 years: guessing couple hundred

Number of years trading full time: 0

Number of accounts blown: 1 going on 2 (reason for starting journal)

Trading style: Price action, 4 tick scalp.


Currently trading MES pre market open and after hours close due to other full time job. Hoping someday will be fortunate enough to trade full time. Was trading the ES but trading account somehow shrank

These trades were made Thursday after market close, thought I would start my journal with some wins. Not always the case though.

Based off of a measured move, one leg down completed and 2 corrections or second entries with a very bearish prior candlestick. I entered at last possible minute and none to soon. TBH last minute entries is something I'm working on.

Second trade made was based off the continuation of the second leg down measured move. Although you can see I have one of my arrows placed a little high for the completed second leg. Forgot to mention the very bearish prior candlestick.

One more note, I settled on a 950 MES tick chart while monitoring a 2000 tick ES chart during my trades. I found watching the ES although slightly different than the MES in candlestick charting gives me more confidence in making the trade.

Both of these trades were successful unlike the trade made the morning before. What was I thinking


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  #2 (permalink)
Houston Texas
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader 7
Broker: NinjaTrader Brokerage
Trading: ES, MES
 
JMAL's Avatar
 
Posts: 47 since Jul 2014
Thanks: 16 given, 27 received

Friday 5/22/20 Pre-Open 8:30 market open.

Word of caution trading these hours, there can be large volume spikes. Always have stops in place!

This is my third day trading the MES. My first morning trading I made two trades. The first trade was a really good entry but I got nervous and exited the trade only to watch it go exactly where I felt it would go with hardly any pullback to stop me out. That's the fear part I really need to overcome. My second trade that morning I entered long and it went against me and once again I broke my rule and moved my stop a total of 16 ticks (my biggest weakness) . That wasn't a good morning. The second morning is shown in my journal above which was a good trading morning.

To put this in perspective money wise I lost $100 Tuesday morning off one trade. My goal for the rest of the week was to make back the $100. Thursday 5/21 made two trades and recaptured $50. This day 5/22 I made two trades and recaptured $50. I was trading lots of 5 contracts, scalping out with 4 ticks (1 pt.) with no runners.


Note had to take photo of my print out this day due to closing the chart

This morning pretty straight forward. First entry coming off long first leg I waited for the second pullback then entered on the second entry of that leg. That was a 4 tick win. The second trade entry was on a third pull back but I was expecting what I call the final leg or measured move to complete and it did. Another 4 tick win.

I have a feeling this journal is really going to make me think now before making a trade, and that's a good thing!

Don't let Fear, Greed and Gambling overRule
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  #3 (permalink)
Langley
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: IB
Trading: Futures
 
Posts: 225 since Mar 2020
Thanks: 244 given, 188 received



JMAL View Post
Friday 5/22/20 Pre-Open 8:30 market open.

Word of caution trading these hours, there can be large volume spikes. Always have stops in place!

This is my third day trading the MES. My first morning trading I made two trades. The first trade was a really good entry but I got nervous and exited the trade only to watch it go exactly where I felt it would go with hardly any pullback to stop me out. That's the fear part I really need to overcome. My second trade that morning I entered long and it went against me and once again I broke my rule and moved my stop a total of 16 ticks (my biggest weakness) . That wasn't a good morning. The second morning is shown in my journal above which was a good trading morning.

To put this in perspective money wise I lost $100 Tuesday morning off one trade. My goal for the rest of the week was to make back the $100. Thursday 5/21 made two trades and recaptured $50. This day 5/22 I made two trades and recaptured $50. I was trading lots of 5 contracts, scalping out with 4 ticks (1 pt.) with no runners.


Note had to take photo of my print out this day due to closing the chart

This morning pretty straight forward. First entry coming off long first leg I waited for the second pullback then entered on the second entry of that leg. That was a 4 tick win. The second trade entry was on a third pull back but I was expecting what I call the final leg or measured move to complete and it did. Another 4 tick win.

I have a feeling this journal is really going to make me think now before making a trade, and that's a good thing!

Great JMAL. I'm in the same boat. Trying to be a little more accountable to myself for my trading by posting here.

I like the way you trade. I see what your trying to do. And the way you analyze the market.

Like me sometimes you just need to get out of your own way. To trust you made the right choice BEFORE you entered. Which should include before hand as well, where youll get out if things go sideways... before hitting stop or target or... if your just going to hold till one or the other gets hit.

If you don't mind. What is your stop? Is it volatility, price action or fixed based?

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  #4 (permalink)
Houston Texas
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader 7
Broker: NinjaTrader Brokerage
Trading: ES, MES
 
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Posts: 47 since Jul 2014
Thanks: 16 given, 27 received


Sandpaddict View Post
Great JMAL. I'm in the same boat. Trying to be a little more accountable to myself for my trading by posting here.

I like the way you trade. I see what your trying to do. And the way you analyze the market.

Like me sometimes you just need to get out of your own way. To trust you made the right choice BEFORE you entered. Which should include before hand as well, where youll get out if things go sideways... before hitting stop or target or... if your just going to hold till one or the other gets hit.

If you don't mind. What is your stop? Is it volatility, price action or fixed based?

Sent using the futures.io mobile app

Thanks Sandpaddict, on my stops I look for an eight point stop (correction 8 tick stop) or one tick above or below the trigger bar. Thats a lot easier said than done. Just blew that practice out of the water on Tuesday placing my stop at 16 ticks. That is another one of my trading faults and one of the reasons why I priced myself out of the e-mini, by not leaving my stops alone.

Don't let Fear, Greed and Gambling overRule
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  #5 (permalink)
Langley
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: IB
Trading: Futures
 
Posts: 225 since Mar 2020
Thanks: 244 given, 188 received


JMAL View Post
Thanks Sandpaddict, on my stops I look for an eight point stop or one tick above or below the trigger bar. Thats a lot easier said than done. Just blew that practice out of the water on Tuesday placing my stop at 16 ticks. That is another one of my trading faults and one of the reasons why I priced myself out of the e-mini, by not leaving my stops alone.

So you have a 4 tick fixed target? I had to go back and reread that. You normally have an 8 point stop? But then you said 16 ticks which seems more inline. Still scary but hey I do the same thing. When my stops get hit they take out 2 and a bit trades plus commissions on all those but man...

If even one 8 point stop gets hit your at the very least out 33 ticks (8p/4t =32t +1t for stop getting hit) plus commissions.

So to just get back to break even you need 10 plus WINNING TRADES at 4 ticks for each 8 point loss!

So you need to be right over %80 just to break even!

Why?

Heres some super rough math but its close...

If (1 point = 4 ticks = $50) then ($50 X .8 = $40 after commissions) I believe thats a fair assessment of commissions if not just change the percentage.

Now for every winning trade you will have appx $40

So 33 X $12.5 = $412.5

$412.5/$40 = 10.31 times FOR EVERY 1 loss.

Now... thats only on 8 points!!! And commissions compound against you in this case.

This might sound like an exaggeration but simply put in your commissions and you'll see.

Please check my numbers and if Im wrong let me know. I think in terms of points as money is a function account size and position sizing so makes comparison hard to past performance and performance between systems.

In any case Ive done it 100 times taking losses that are far out of the norm and those are the ones you can't come back from.

Now I aim to take small amounts of points without getting whiplashed in and out using time for the market do its thing but sometimes I manage my losses well other times they hit my emergency stop. Which I barely EVER MOVE.

Im not claiming to be an expert but if you have any questions fire away.





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  #6 (permalink)
Houston Texas
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader 7
Broker: NinjaTrader Brokerage
Trading: ES, MES
 
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Posts: 47 since Jul 2014
Thanks: 16 given, 27 received


Sandpaddict View Post
So you have a 4 tick fixed target? I had to go back and reread that. You normally have an 8 point stop? But then you said 16 ticks which seems more inline. Still scary but hey I do the same thing. When my stops get hit they take out 2 and a bit trades plus commissions on all those but man...

Sandpaddict, my bad! I incorrectly stated I use an eight point stop. My goal is to use an eight tick stop or one tick above or below my trigger bar. My apology.

I have read that using such a small stop is not a good idea but if placed well then there is less chance of getting chewed up. I think if I were trading the E-mini ES after the open using a larger stop wouldn't be as risky, but using large stops trading after hours in my opinion is not smart. Too many times I have moved my stops while trading after hours only to get a sudden large movement just far enough to stop me out. Then turn and go the other direction.

Don't let Fear, Greed and Gambling overRule
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  #7 (permalink)
Langley
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: IB
Trading: Futures
 
Posts: 225 since Mar 2020
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JMAL View Post
Sandpaddict, my bad! I incorrectly stated I use an eight point stop. My goal is to use an eight tick stop or one tick above or below my trigger bar. My apology.

I have read that using such a small stop is not a good idea but if placed well then there is less chance of getting chewed up. I think if I were trading the E-mini ES after the open using a larger stop wouldn't be as risky, but using large stops trading after hours in my opinion is not smart. Too many times I have moved my stops while trading after hours only to get a sudden large movement just far enough to stop me out. Then turn and go the other direction.

Lol yes that all sounds more reasonable.

If I may. I have tried for years to trade like how you are. At least from the charts you have shown.

I personally at this point cannot. Probably never.

The problem for me and everyone else I believe is still what I posted above about the fact you still need to have such a consistently high win rate just to break even.

So 4 ticks profit equals around $40 after commissions. An 8 tick stop requires a minimum of 9 ticks PLUS commissions... so 9 ticks X 12.5 = 112.50. Almost 3 times greater than every win so you have to be better that %80 just to break even.

Now I couldn't agree more that if you stalk these trades and sniper them the way you are its completely possible but again its never going to be easy.

Now although I dont believe in noise in trading I believe if it becomes noise to you your to close to the market.

The way Ive delt with this is Ive gone from let say 4 ticks to 4 points profit and from 8 tick stop to 8 point stop. This has been a complete game changer for me. Of course its all relative as when my stop gets hit I can lose huge but I feel I have so much more control over managing losers and I try to let my winnings take care of themselves.

This is all just my two cents. I just love talking to other traders.

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  #8 (permalink)
Houston Texas
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader 7
Broker: NinjaTrader Brokerage
Trading: ES, MES
 
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Posts: 47 since Jul 2014
Thanks: 16 given, 27 received

Monday 5/25 Memorial Day, trading Holiday.

Started a little late this morning with setting up my chart. Looked like the market was setting up for a trade but I had to let it go and leave for work. As of this moment I haven't looked to see which way the market went, my guess it went higher. I was waiting for a strong bullish bar off the intermediate resistance line and 21 EMA which would have been a second entry. Tough to leave at that point but showing discipline.


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  #9 (permalink)
Houston Texas
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader 7
Broker: NinjaTrader Brokerage
Trading: ES, MES
 
JMAL's Avatar
 
Posts: 47 since Jul 2014
Thanks: 16 given, 27 received

No trades made this morning, chart wasn't setup until about 6:30 am (CST). When the market broke out of the trend line around 7:30 I was really tempted to drop an order in but decided to wait on a second pullback which didn't come in the time I needed before leaving for work. Two things I see now that I wasn't picking up on this morning is the market showing strength by not making back to the lower trend line and if you want to call it a double bottom. If it would have pulled back where my upper arrow is placed I would have placed an order. Oh well maybe tomorrow.


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  #10 (permalink)
Houston Texas
 
Experience: Beginner
Platform: NinjaTrader 7
Broker: NinjaTrader Brokerage
Trading: ES, MES
 
JMAL's Avatar
 
Posts: 47 since Jul 2014
Thanks: 16 given, 27 received


Days like today wish I hadn't started this journal. Made two trades this morning both stopped out. Needless to say I'm upset with myself for making these trades, especially the second trade. Thought seriously about not posting these loosing trades but asked myself why did you start this journal? No excuses, wish I had paid more attention to the tick counter as to when the bars make their move this morning, may have kept me from making the trade. I found that in the early morning the bars will move very quickly at a certain time of the ticks remaining. That's when I like to drop an order in , hoping to ride the wave. This morning I felt pressed to make a trade based off sitting on my hands for the last two days.

Although it was a loss I felt pretty good about this first trade, thinking it would go at least another point.



In case someone is curious, I like to watch the ES while trading the MES. The MES 950 tick seems pretty close to the 2000 tick ES. Have just started trading the MES so, haven't got the MES dialed in as to what tick count would be most similar to the 2000 tick ES chart.

On the second trade I entered short thinking it would at least make it back to the support line. Neither one of these trades were based off second entries. It was an anxious trade. Note to self, this ain't a race! Enter only on Second entries or support and resistance lines


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