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AJ's Journal
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AJ's Journal

  #661 (permalink)
Market Wizard
whitestone, new york
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: ninja trader
 
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Posts: 1,519 since Oct 2010
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Two things are holding me back from being very successful at this fairly straight forward
(if you'll let it) game.

My temper and
My patience.

Most people,imo,never take the time to recognize their weakness/shortcomings,imo.And of the few who actually do, how many make the effort to change?

Those 2 traits are ,imo,typical to most traders.
I listened to Private Bankers webinar, and his belief, is that we should focus on the process, not the the P@L.I agree with this.I recommend the webinar to anyone.Its hard to believe that he ever struggled, but admits that was the case.

Anyway, controlling ourselves is something that encompasses our whole life,not just trading.I say, you need to get away more,and focus on you.You would be surprised how much better you will feel...and exercise in some way is a biggie.Work off some stress.Your trading will continue to improve,and this is just one of the transitions,with many more to come.How many days in a week do you actually totally forget trading, becoming involved in other things?
Again, to quote PB, "balance is very important"

Rock on!!

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  #662 (permalink)
Elite Member
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Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninja / Jigsaw / 9G
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Update

I'm ready to up the ante in my game.

I'm looking to get out of the house and find a small office space somewhere.

... any assistance or advice in locating a room will be greatly appreciated.


I'm simply ready to make my surroundings more Pro and to give myself the best arena for
concentration and focus.

I will also start a separate thread on this in "Off Topic" in case anyone else is in the same boat.


Trade To Win, my friends.


AJ
Nashville, Tennessee


"Life On The Edge of SR"
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  #663 (permalink)
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Update 2


I would like to mention a few developments in my trading style and psyche.


1. I no longer freak and have to take a time out when I miss a strong move.
I patiently wait for the PB that always comes and look for my signals for entry.

2. I'm getting better at managing each trade as it's own animal. No set targets or stops.
I take what each trade gives by trailing a stop at PA based levels and look to scale in as soon as
the previous trade is safe at BE.

3. I have set trading hours now. ... finally

CST

4:30 am- rise and shine. Prepare coffee, breakfast and a protein shake, along with nuts and
dried cherries to last me to lunch.

5:00 am - to the desk and start "looking left" and marking all the target levels to observe.
If there are any key "brick wall" edge seams in PA, I will place a blind limit order
at these levels with a tight, set stop. Bounces of some degree almost always happen
here. I take profit quickly off the initial bounce, and then re-enter on the
retest for a longer play if the level holds well .
Most levels I mark will come into play at some point.

6:00 am - I'm fully acquainted with the mood of the market and ready to play.

11:00 to 11:30 ... make a quick, light lunch and back to the desk as quickly as possible.

3:15 trading ends.


4. My charts have not changed in years, it seems. PA reads like a book now. The same patterns
occur over and over again. You must be patient and wait for them.

5. The "fear of missing out" is all but conquered and the "fear of being wrong" is almost there.
I'm still very cautious to the point of having difficulty pulling the trigger some days. However,
I feel that this is better than over trading any day. I must wait until I see something I recognize.

6. My patience is night and day better. When you stay calm and patient, you will look down and at
some point during the day and the money will be laying at your feet waiting for you to pick it up.

7. I never chase trades anymore. I wait until price comes to my level. If I'm not filled, fine - next trade.

8. I still have a temper to deal with, but I manage it well within the trading spectrum.
I feel it's just a matter of time before I am more patient with all things in my life.


Here's a shot of the charts.... same ole' gag...

Please register on futures.io to view futures trading content such as post attachment(s), image(s), and screenshot(s).


AJ
Nashville, Tennessee


"Life On The Edge of SR"
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  #664 (permalink)
Elite Member
Nashville, Tennessee
 
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Giving Back

I was helping out a friend who is struggling and I thought this info may be of use to someone
looking for a method.

I have taken several extended breaks during my learning process. I would think it is normal.
If it still calls to you, you have what it takes. You should always have almost a "need" to trade.

Mid July was the last I heard of NT for TST.

I learned quickly that I could not participate in the chat box or do much of anything
when I trade. My trading cues are precise and demand my utmost focus to see how
price is behaving getting, during and leaving my entry / target areas. Order flow and
wick formation on the 5 min bars read like a book and I must be watching to read it.

The key is not to get too technical, my friend.
Price will tell you when it wants to reverse, just memorize your cues and act quickly
and decisively. Keep something to "trade against" at your back as close as you can
to your entry, such as a hard seam in PA working as S/R. It is even better if this level
is a key pivot like Y close, Y hi, Y lo, etc.

keep your stop just on the other side of the SR..... 3 ticks works for me. I have found if price
exceeds this hard edge buy more than 2 ticks, the leg is not over.... always exceptions of
course. All you have is observed tendencies to give you an edge.

I will only take a trade that is within 8 ticks of my stop. So, often I am waiting for a retest
of a wick on a five minute bar. This type of entry, when you are right, will move off quickly
- being a re-test - and put you well into the green so you can move to BE within seconds
and sometimes even lock in a good chunk, because some PA will tell you it probably won't
test it again.

5 min candles making all the various doji patterns and sequences are quite telling.
Those, along with the 15, 30 and hourly charts for seeing even more seams / edges in PA along with
Order flow / VP are Golden.

Avoid trading BO's and wait for price to fill you at the bottom of trend
consolidations (for a long entry) for a goal of continuation is the easiest trade with this method.
(Stair case PA)

Think of trading like fishing. Pick a price that will give you a nice, tight stop near
a good wick / candle edge, PA seam and SR. Price has held that level for a reason. If it breaks
this level against you, it will break hard, so keep a tight stop. Beware of "One tick
wonders" however. 3 ticks is almost always safe if it is a hard seam / edge. Place
your limit order wherever your risk tolerance allows. The farther you place the order
into the "battle zone" the more likely you are to be filled, but you will most likely
take some heat.

I have gotten to the point where I only trade with the trend. If I can't identify a trend direction,
I won't trade. The cues for a trend formation out of consolidation are subtle at times. Even
slight HH's and HL's will forecast the start of a strong leg. (going Long)

Good luck, buddy... stay the course.

Let it be easy.
Trade with the Trend.
Cut the losers short and let the winners run and scale in on the PB's.


AJ
Nashville, Tennessee


"Life On The Edge of SR"

Last edited by tderrick; June 29th, 2013 at 11:10 AM.
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  #665 (permalink)
Elite Member
Nashville, Tennessee
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninja / Jigsaw / 9G
Broker/Data: AMP / CQG
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Posts: 1,589 since Sep 2010
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Update

I have been working on adding a few more tools to the work box.
My main trade concept is golden when filled and when it occurs. This is my current
struggle. Sometimes I must wait for hours for the setup to happen and then I
may not get filled and the process starts again.

I'm looking for a way to shorten my work day.

So, this week I am going to try a few more nuggets.

1. Pure scalping 10 ticks, massaged to PA based targets, within the ranging chop
that usually occurs in the pre RTH equity hours (NQ for me lately.) I look at the
range and place blind limit orders in the price seams / SR levels that line up
well with VP "Mountain Edges" inside the range. I am gambling that the bounce will occur and I
go the BE at 8 ticks with a 5 tick stop / hard. Testing has been most favorable
with this method.

2. I, also, place a blind Limit order at the edge of the current range opposite the macro trend direction
looking for a home run. 2 handle stop here / hard. This trade will be held for a long term trend,
even through the open, but not big news reports.

3. I have been studying various types of momentum entries. I find inside range bars very
telling ( on time charts - 5, 15, 30, hourly and daily ) - especially at major SR areas.

I have been trying an entry that occurs on hard BO's from smaller consolidation areas.
At the end of the 5 min BO bar, if that is flat top, or a very small wick, I place a limit order
at the body edge looking for a continuation. If is important to understand the type
of trade you are attempting here. "Continuation" - I find a 6 tick stop or the edge of
previous consolidation, if close to 2 handles, works well to inform me the premise was
incorrect.

I,also, have added a "Spot Runner" - where, if I'm confident Price is about to launch
from and exact spot, after building up "Pressure" to blow, I will place the limit order
at the exact price. - No messing around here - 1 handle stop - I'm am expecting
no retracement from this level, so any move against me is quickly thwarted.

I have also been working on solid entry methods
right at the open, as I am getting tired of watching price just race off without me.
I am using a PB method by watching the correlation between PA chart landmarks and
"Volume Mountains" that form in VP. I let price move beyond the peak and after a retest
or two that holds, I will place a limit order two ticks to the other side of the mountain peak
and wait. I repeat the process until filled.
The VP entry area is honored tightly, it seems, in
strong moves, so a stop placed just out of the VP "Mountain Range" works well. I will
keep scaling in with this method with PA massaged, 4 handle targets on each entry.

I'll will give myself two tries at this each day this week. (unless it works )


Emotionally, I am developing well.

1. The "Fear of Missing Out" is well under control.

2. I am no longer afraid of getting "run over" on my blind limit orders. My stops are set to trigger
when the concept is not valid.

3. I no longer "chase" emotionally when my limit orders are not filled. I simply follow along behind,
placing the limit order at logical, PA based PB areas.



The journey continues


AJ
Nashville, Tennessee


"Life On The Edge of SR"
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  #666 (permalink)
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Nashville, Tennessee
 
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Posts: 1,589 since Sep 2010
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Update

My genetically inherent temperamental nature reared it's ugly head again this week, causing me to miss some
trading time. "The Fear of Missing Out" was the culprit. Although in my case it's more like the
"Anguish of missing Out". Once I get that hot, flustered feeling welling up inside, I have to walk away.
I have lost thousands over the years getting into that numb, reactionary cycle of chasing and being
trapped.

So, a BE week it was. Due solely to my emotions.

I haven't been keeping an active journal of daily activities since my progression to live trading for the
simple reason that there are few variables in my game. My setups are burned into my psyche
so firmly that I dream about my setup patterns.

Another benefit from journals, being cause and effect, is also not necessary now, as I have learned
all the lessons necessary. Taking advantage of the learned lessons is the hard part.

Eat well and get good sleep and you will trade well and make money.
The opposite has the obvious results.
Keep your cool and stay in the game after the inevitable loser and you will find your winning entry
sometimes just moments later. ( In my case, I am usually too early - no jokes please )
Get upset and angry you will certainly trade irrationally.

So, for me, at this point, posting up charts of patterns I've seen a thousand times or talking
about the emotions that always circumvent my professional progress is time consuming and redundant.

Even though I have been cursed with a terrible temper that I am just now (at 52 years) able to
control, thanks to trading, I have been blessed with a wonderful, sharp memory.

My journal is now kept in my mind.

As each bar develops, revealing a certain general pattern, a flurry of images and emotional memories
zip through my brain.

I tend to see all the ways the trade can't work and work from there. If there are more positive memories
of a certain pattern at a certain place in the hourly range on a certain day, then I will enter the trade.

The wonderful computer that is the human brain projects these calculations as "having a feeling" or
"a hunch", but the message is only delivered after your subconscious weighs all your past experiences
and gives you a beautiful sum. In my case, the negative outcomes have been so traumatic, that my brain
gives these much more impact than they deserve. So, these means that I look at every setup from
a negative point of view. How is this trade going to hurt me? It's simple fight or flight survival instinct.

Only now, after having a bit of success, is the ratio changing. Every now and then, I will get
an overwhelming GOOD feeling that - hey this trade works a lot!! let's go !! now!!
My trading often works around 5 minute range bars that sometimes only form at the completion of the bar
giving me my final signal, so these calculations have to be performed in seconds to perform the perfect
entry. Amazing.

_____________________________

That being said , to any newcomers to the game that may happen across this wispy aside, let me
tell you this.

I would never had made it this far WITHOUT a journal.

You must place the technical endeavors you are trying along side with the emotions you are feeling.
This is the only way to find out what type of trader you even are.
Do you have the nerve to hold a trade for hours, or will you be out in minutes. A journal helps
in dozens of ways to forge your way.

The great cats @mrtopstep posted a marvelous tweet today on the
subject of journals that got me traveling down this memory road.

Successful traders keep a journal - MrTopStep.com

If you don't visit the link, the key point that hit me is below. It makes me want to start
up again.



"Markets are places where we buy and sell different levels of risk and uncertainty. No matter what holy grail you think you have, itís still a game of probabilities. The only thing you can control is your own mind. A trading journal lets you learn how your mind works and learn to trust it. Just as listening to someone and giving them your full attention is an act of great respect, listening to your own mind and attending closely to it is an act of great self-respect. A journal teaches you to trust your mind and gently but firmly direct it. It gives you unshakable self-confidence.

Even if you start off slow, just write a few lines every day or save one chart. The important thing is not eloquent writing, but developing a consistent habit of learning from that dayís trading. All successful traders know that the key is not the occasional huge win, but consistently applying a method you can trust. That starts by working with a mind you can trust, because you know it. Your mind and emotions must not be your enemy, sabotaging your trades. They must be your best friends and allies.

You've heard me say before that there is no holy grail, that the holy grail is you. Over time, youíll find that holy grail in the pages of your journal."


....beautiful

AJ


AJ
Nashville, Tennessee


"Life On The Edge of SR"
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  #667 (permalink)
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@TDerrick Thank you!

Hey TD,
I'm the cat from MrTopStep. I'm Vikram, the new COO and editor. I'm glad to know there are other traders who recognize that the real edge comes from emotional mastery. It's part of what we'll be writing about more in our new, expanded website.
I just joined Big Mike so it's great to find such a nice welcome waiting for me. I guess you know that MrTopStep has a popular space here and it's only going to get better. More contributors, more video, more areas of the industry, plus some new products in the works like the MIM, the MrTopStep Imbalance Meter, which is scary good.
Look forward to meeting all of you. Enjoy your weekend!

Best,
Vikram

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Posts: 1,589 since Sep 2010
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Welcome, my friend.

Here is to a long and profitable relationship together.



Vikram View Post
Hey TD,
I'm the cat from MrTopStep. I'm Vikram, the new COO and editor. I'm glad to know there are other traders who recognize that the real edge comes from emotional mastery. It's part of what we'll be writing about more in our new, expanded website.
I just joined Big Mike so it's great to find such a nice welcome waiting for me. I guess you know that MrTopStep has a popular space here and it's only going to get better. More contributors, more video, more areas of the industry, plus some new products in the works like the MIM, the MrTopStep Imbalance Meter, which is scary good.
Look forward to meeting all of you. Enjoy your weekend!

Best,
Vikram



AJ
Nashville, Tennessee


"Life On The Edge of SR"
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  #669 (permalink)
Elite Member
Nashville, Tennessee
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninja / Jigsaw / 9G
Broker/Data: AMP / CQG
Favorite Futures: NQ, YM and ES
 
tderrick's Avatar
 
Posts: 1,589 since Sep 2010
Thanks: 4,260 given, 2,527 received

Advice

I posted on a newcomer's thread the other day and it brought back a flood of memories when I was
just starting out. I remember searching the web for trading terms like bid and ask and being quite
confused by them....

Turn the page three years or so and it seems like a lifetime ago ....

I thought I would repost my thoughts to this lad who is just undertaking his journey. Whether he makes it
or not, I hope I, at least, pointed him in the right direction.

In case any new traders come across my journal in the future......

__________________________________________________________________

I'm a time based chart guy myself .

I use a 5, 15 and 30 minute chart along with hourly and daily.

I'm, also, a huge volume fan. I can't imagine trading without Volume profile of some type. The most useful
is the type that paints bars at each price on a DOM, IMHO. Although, I also use a graphic type by Gomi that paints
a colored heat map directly on the chart. I think that type words best on a 30 minute chart.

No indicators. In the classic sense. Price action is king.
I use an ema on each chart and vwap on the 5 min. These are just to hammer home the direction of the
markets.


Now, here is your "fast" way to making money. - Start logging your 10,000 hours of screen time.
I use Japanese Candlesticks on all charts. Learn them like a language. Eventually, you will be able to
glance at the charts and have a general idea of what the market is doing.

Decide if you want to scalp for short hits or stay in longer for more of a swing type trade.
Swing type trading will generally require larger targets and stops ... Your risk aversion may come into
play here. Most everyone starts out scalping and graduates to bigger and larger trades more closely
resembling swing trading ....

I advise to start with a minimal account - $5k was perfect for me,

( but I started out poor, like a lot of people I would think.
5 grand of spare change is rich in most peoples eyes.
Even if you have $100k, why lose $25k, before you realize it isn't as easy as it looks.
.... this seems senseless to me. )

When you lose half, which you probably will,
stop live trading ( this is after a time paper trading until you think you have a method, of course )

The only way to make money is put in the time and pay your dues.
Do not use indicators
Learn price action at support and resistance levels and learn to judge reversals and bounces .
The other tool in your bag should be a method for momentum trade entry. Be careful of the later...
Most amateurs jump on the hard moves and get trapped by traders like me.

If you remember one thing - remember to do the opposite everyone else is doing. That is the only way
to trade like a pro. You must learn to think several moves ahead. The only way to do this is watch
PA for thousands of hours.

Pick one pit and learn it like the back of your hand . (one market) ... TF, CL ES NQ ,,, etc...


Only the strong survive..... you must never give up.
Do not blow out your entire account when you start.
I kept stopping at 50% drawdown and went back to Market replay until I had a method that would
work under pressure. The less of a decision you have to make for each entry, the better.
It should be like, oh, that's that same old gag I've seen a hundred times.... It usually does this now.

See the setup and react quickly .

Cut your losers short and let your winners run .
Never move your stops to "make room"
Only risk 1% of your account for each trade. AND LEARN TO LOSE!!! You must get to the point when a stop out
does not effect you at all .... (this was the most difficult for me) I just hate losing ... ( or is being wrong, .. either way)
Trade at least a 1 : 2 Risk / Reward ratio ....
Never let a winner become a loser.


There must be several dozen things I have forgot to mention ...

Patience is the key.
Never enter a trade quickly ... it should have been stalked for a while...

Remember, you will feel like quitting at several points ... keep going and protect your money at all costs.

Good Luck!!!

AJ


AJ
Nashville, Tennessee


"Life On The Edge of SR"
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  #670 (permalink)
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Nashville, Tennessee
 
Futures Experience: Intermediate
Platform: Ninja / Jigsaw / 9G
Broker/Data: AMP / CQG
Favorite Futures: NQ, YM and ES
 
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Posts: 1,589 since Sep 2010
Thanks: 4,260 given, 2,527 received


I woke up this morning and thought, I'm taking a day off..:

You know why ? I just don't feel like trading and......


I AIN'T GOT NO BOSS !!!!


Trade well, gang . ... See ya tomorrow


Aj

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


AJ
Nashville, Tennessee


"Life On The Edge of SR"
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