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Koeyk's Trading Journal

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  #1 (permalink)
Los Angeles, California
 
 
Posts: 18 since Feb 2021
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Hello Everyone and welcome to my futures trading journey!!

I'm just another young person who's getting into trading recently (~3 weeks ago). I've enjoyed trading futures for around the 8 days that I've been trading with it. I opened an account with $1000 capital and baaasically blew it (I was still able to trade because it was a SIM).

I was hesitant to create this journal thread at first but it would be a way to take accountability for my trades. My plan is to grow my $1000 live paper account to $3000 and then start the TopStepTrader Funding process. By trying to grow the small account, I can try out different strategies and get some experience under my belt.

Any feedback is welcome and appreciated.

I will update my journal on a google doc and then paste it on the thread.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xxFB9WOsc1Kq738K3KtWAzH1Ln365_TTODThTFXRQnE/edit?usp=sharing

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  #2 (permalink)
Los Angeles, California
 
 
Posts: 18 since Feb 2021
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Day 7.5 (2/14-2/16): Learning and Planning
  • mzPack looks like they have nice order flow indicators
  • Need to figure out whether I have to pay for $1000 NinjaTrader to use mzPack order flow indicators
  • Need to learn the technical chart patterns

Discovered:
  • Found out about Youtube Futures Trader: Trades By Matt
  • Uses cumulative delta and volume order profile
  • Mainly trades NQ and uses 22 range
  • mzPack has a nice bunch of order flow indicators
  • Bookmap is also great
  • NinjaTrader8 has order flow analysis stuff but not as impressive as the mzPack and Bookmap
  • Tick charts seems like the easiest for me to read on ES

SIM Plan 1:
  • Profit Goal: $1000 → $3000
  • Not blow up* my SIM account more than 3 times
  • For my own simplicity, blowing up = account balance <= 0
  • Copy TopStepTrader Rules
  • Trade during permitted times
  • Daily Loss Limit:
  • Trailing Maximum Drawdown:
  • Weekly Loss Limit:
  • No positions on economic releases
  • Trading 2 contracts maximum

Sorry if formatting looks weird, not used to BBCode.

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Los Angeles, California
 
 
Posts: 18 since Feb 2021
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Day 8 (2/16): $229.68 Better Control
  • Started the day with $645.38
  • Ended day with $875.06
  • Learned that Mondays are usually the best time to buy stocks due to the Weekend Effect. Although today is a Tuesday, Presidentís day was on Monday which means markets were closed on Monday.
    • Mondays are usually lower than with Fridays.
  • Iím gonna end off on a green day!
  • Started using volume profile to see where the most volume is located. (not order flow tho)

Strengths:
  • I got into some pretty good trades. Waiting for the proper to show up and not try to get FOMOíd into a trade.
  • Since today was a slow day, I just took profits and did not lose money. (finally!)

Weaknesses:
  • Adjusted my take profit on Trade 4 too much. I was too fixated on trying to end off on a profit rather than trusting the analysis that was there.

Lesson:
  • Weekend effect: start of week stocks hit their lows and good time to buy. But it also means that day trading on this day may be a bad idea.
  • Donít focus on one indicator only. Relied on the Volume Profile which costed me $150 on Trade 3

Trades:
  • Trade 1
    • Took this trade because buying below the VWAP line and bouncing around this range. Thankfully I got out because it started to dip quickly right after this. So I was lucky
  • Trade 2
    • Below the VWAP line and showed a strong upward trend
    • I tried to get in at an earlier spot, but didnít get filled. Sat on my hands for too long, but at least I got extra confirmation
  • Trade 3
    • Got too fixated on the volume profile and got faked out by the 3 green bars right before. (3 bullish soldiers)
    • Shouldíve looked at the 2000tick chart
    • Saved by stop loss
  • Trade 4
    • Also FAR below the VWAP.
    • Everyoneís stop loss shouldíve been filled as it was dipping heavily, so I bought after a bit of confirmation that it would go back up
    • What I did wrong was moving my take profit because it was starting to look choppy. My mental got messed up

*My formatting is still kinda bad but I'm close to linking the images within the actual posts.*

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Indianoplace, IN
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: SierraChart
Broker: CQG
Trading: All Micros, especially the ones that move
 
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Good job today. To have your images appear inline with the text, all you have to do is drag them over to the box on the left.


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Los Angeles, California
 
 
Posts: 18 since Feb 2021
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Rrrracer View Post
Good job today. To have your images appear inline with the text, all you have to do is drag them over to the box on the left.

Thanks! The main problem is just not having the post count to link the images within my text.

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Los Angeles, California
 
 
Posts: 18 since Feb 2021
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Day 9 (2/17): $249.50 Overtrading Luck?
  • Started the day with $875.06
  • Ended day with $1124.26
  • 8 Total Trades
    • 3 Wins : 5 Losses
  • Finally above my initial start of $1000!
  • Try not to trade in a chop, only in trends.
    • If I trade a choppy area, at least increase the stop loss and try to go longer.
  • I didnít see any opportunity to short it because it was all below the VWAP line.
  • Admittedly, I did overtrade today in hopes of making it in the green.
    • I enjoy quietly sitting in this trader discord calls and hearing their analysis and predictions on what might happen.
  • Allows me to learn more about the chart patterns.

Strengths:
  • I was pretty good at changing my take profits higher and realizing that I was on the right side.
  • Pretty strict with my stop loss which saved me multiple times!
Weaknesses:
  • I kept having an entry on a chop which is very risky because I donít know where Iíll end up. Or my stop loss gets eaten up during the chop.
  • I did lower my take profit levels because I was too worried about ending the day in a profit.
  • Overtraded...
Lesson:
  • Again, stop having an entry on a chop. I got killed by it at least twice.
  • Once my original target has been reached, itís a good idea to move the stop loss to the breakeven point so I donít incur such a huge loss to a runner.

Trades:
  • Trade 1: Win
    • Slightly risky trade because it was chopping around the VWAP line, but it showed a strong upward trend. It was a good decision to only stick to one contract if it flopped.
    • It was near the VWAP line so there was no point in having a runner.
  • Trade 2: Loss
    • Saved by stop loss. Good thing Iím pretty strict with my stop losses because this wouldíve been a large loss.
    • Tried to do the similar strategy as trade 1 but got trapped at the top.
    • Shouldíve realized that it was making a lower low.
  • Trade 3: Loss
    • This was a consolidation point. I donít do well in consolidation points, only trends. It was chopping around in the VWAP Std Dev -1.
    • Also shouldíve realized that it was making lower lows.
  • Trade 4: Loss
    • Thought it was going to bounce to VWAP but it ended up catching my stop loss.
    • This seemed like a revenge trade from me and got FOMOídÖ Shouldíve realized that it might challenge the VWAP line. Bought high instead of low.
  • Trade 5: Win
    • Caught the bottom finally followed the trend to the VWAP. Since the candles were using the VWAP Std Dev -1. Good idea to buy at level.
  • Trade 6: Loss
    • Saved by stop loss. Thought that it would use the VWAP Std Dev -1 as a support line and go towards the VWAP line.
    • I shouldíve realized that it was an overall downtrend for the past 10 minutes. Take a 3 point profit if I bought during a downtrend.
  • Trade 7: Win and Loss
    • Shouldíve moved my runnerís stop loss to the breakeven point. Realize that after the original target is met, move the runner stop loss to the breakeven point so I donít go in the red.
  • Trade 8: Loss and Win
    • Since the price was quite a bit below the VWAP line and near the dayís low.
    • My original target got stopped. Made sense since the entry point was choppy.
    • I held my runnerís stop loss below the dayís low just in case if it did want to go even lower today. However, I kept moving my runnerís take profit level to make sure I end the day green.

Overall Chart:


Account Performance:

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Rovigo (ITALY)
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: SierraChart, MotiveWave
Broker: Rithmic, Dorman, Interactive Brokers
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I just discovered your Journal!! Great job, enjoy your journey to become a trader.
Take it very easy it will take several years.

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Day 10 (2/18): $374.60 Another Runner!
  • Started the day with $1124.26
  • Ended day with $1498.86
  • 4 Total Trades
    • 2 Wins : 2 Losses
  • Took a look at Edgewonk which is a good trading journal to further find my edge and see my patterns.
  • Market is volatile today and couldnít make sense of most of the chart.
  • During mid-day I was able to catch the trend and catch another 12 point runner.
    • But I was too slow to increase the take-profit on it.
  • Started playing with some fibonacci retracements as I was listening to other people use it on the trader call.

Strengths:
  • Strict with my stop losses again. My stop loss saved me twice today.
  • Started moving my stop losses to above my point of entry of my runners in order to decrease my risk.
  • Good thing I didnít overtrade today because this journal wouldíve taken me a lot longer to put together.
Weaknesses:
  • I keep buying on a downtrend in hopes for a reversal. I should take a step back from predicting reversals OR get more confirmation.
    • This was probably due to me looking at the NQ as a sign for predicting the SPOO.
    • Also making boredom trades because I was eager to jump in even though I couldnít read the chart properly.
Lesson:
  • The runners that I set between 8:30AM PST and 9:15AM PST seem to work out pretty well. This is the second time in the same time period that I had a really good runner.
  • I might want to start shorting on a downtrend.
    • It seems relatively safer to short on the mornings due to the volatility of the market.
    • I know one of my rules is that I donít short below the VWAP but looking at Trade 1 and 3 show that shorting on a downtrend is relatively safe.
    • Change my strategy rule to being able to short in the mornings around VWAP to VWAP Std Dev -1 ON A DOWNTREND.

Trades:
  • Trade 1: Loss
    • Hoping to bounce back to the VWAP after it bounced from the VWAP std dev -1. This was just a bad entry for me because it was at the end of the pattern of bouncing from the VWAP lines.
    • Shouldíve realized that this was a lower point on the RSI at the same price point which was indicating a downtrend. Also I shouldnít have hoped for reversal. TRADE WITH THE TREND!
    • Saved by the stop loss!
  • Trade 2: Win
    • Uptrend and making a higher high and lower low after it hit its daily low.
    • Good and safe entry because I bought on an uptrend. The only way I couldíve improved this trade was to buy two contracts, one of them being the runner.
    • Set the runner to the light blue dotted line or purple VWAP.
    • Once Iíve hit my target, I wouldíve moved the stop loss to at least break even point.
  • Trade 3: Loss
    • Tried to trade for a reversal to the upside. Same mistake as trade 1. I shouldíve shorted this instead of buying it even though it was below the VWAP.
  • Trade 4: Loss and Win
    • Got stopped but then picked up another 12 point runner.
    • I was gonna move the take profit level higher, but it moved too quickly.
    • This seemed to be honestly a lucky trade because I still bought during a downtrend. However, I looked at the NQ starting to take an uptrend and trying to get to VWAP so I took this entry. Still not a safe trade though.

Overall Chart:


Account Performance:

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Los Angeles, California
 
 
Posts: 18 since Feb 2021
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Day 11 (2/19): $(606.50) Dang. Thatís a Big Loss
  • Started the day with $1498.86
  • Ended day with $892.36
  • Dang it really sucks having to write a journal on such a huge loss. Today was the end of my NinjaTrader trial too so I donít receive any more free market data. Itís actually the reason why my journal was late too.
  • 4 Total Trades
    • 0 Wins : 4 Losses
  • Volatile market that just kept going down and chopping

Strengths:
  • I stopped trading after I really passed my huge loss. I didnít bother trading later in the day even though some setups throughout the day looked pretty good.
Weaknesses:
  • I just kept losing which kinda sucked. I couldnít read the market when itís volatile. I really shouldíve stopped when my losses were already sitting at around $450 but I was really hoping that one trade could save me.
  • STOP TRYING TO TRADE ON HOPES OF A REVERSAL!
Lesson:
  • If I canít read the chart properly and itís chopping, donít trade it. I make most of my losses on choppiness.
  • Donít double up on the first trade; I have to get time to warm up first. My first trades are usually losers, so donít put a runner and a target on it. If my first trade is on a huge loss, then itíll mess up my mental for the rest of the day.

Trades:
  • Trade 1: Loss and Loss
    • Shorted on a downtrend however it started to reverse on me. Set the same stop loss for both runner and target because it really did start to reverse.
    • Sucks to start the day -$300
  • Trade 2: Loss
    • Believed that there would be a short at this level. It might have been right to short here, but not at this entry.
  • Trade 3: Loss
    • Another attempt at a reversal trade. I thought it would go back to VWAP but my analysis was incorrect. I shouldn't have taken this trade because the general direction of the trend was still down.
  • Trade 4: Loss
    • Kind of a last ditch effort to try to make a profit but was unsuccessful. This seemed like I was trying to take advantage of the choppiness during the day but was unsuccessful.
Overall Chart:

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Rovigo (ITALY)
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: SierraChart, MotiveWave
Broker: Rithmic, Dorman, Interactive Brokers
Trading: Emini, Nasdaq, DAX, Bund, IBEX
 
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Thanks: 150 given, 822 received



Koeyk View Post
Day 11 (2/19): $(606.50) Dang. Thatís a Big Loss
  • Started the day with $1498.86
  • Ended day with $892.36
  • Dang it really sucks having to write a journal on such a huge loss. Today was the end of my NinjaTrader trial too so I donít receive any more free market data. Itís actually the reason why my journal was late too.
  • 4 Total Trades
    • 0 Wins : 4 Losses
  • Volatile market that just kept going down and chopping

Strengths:
  • I stopped trading after I really passed my huge loss. I didnít bother trading later in the day even though some setups throughout the day looked pretty good.
Weaknesses:
  • I just kept losing which kinda sucked. I couldnít read the market when itís volatile. I really shouldíve stopped when my losses were already sitting at around $450 but I was really hoping that one trade could save me.
  • STOP TRYING TO TRADE ON HOPES OF A REVERSAL!
Lesson:
  • If I canít read the chart properly and itís chopping, donít trade it. I make most of my losses on choppiness.
  • Donít double up on the first trade; I have to get time to warm up first. My first trades are usually losers, so donít put a runner and a target on it. If my first trade is on a huge loss, then itíll mess up my mental for the rest of the day.

Trades:
  • Trade 1: Loss and Loss
    • Shorted on a downtrend however it started to reverse on me. Set the same stop loss for both runner and target because it really did start to reverse.
    • Sucks to start the day -$300
  • Trade 2: Loss
    • Believed that there would be a short at this level. It might have been right to short here, but not at this entry.
  • Trade 3: Loss
    • Another attempt at a reversal trade. I thought it would go back to VWAP but my analysis was incorrect. I shouldn't have taken this trade because the general direction of the trend was still down.
  • Trade 4: Loss
    • Kind of a last ditch effort to try to make a profit but was unsuccessful. This seemed like I was trying to take advantage of the choppiness during the day but was unsuccessful.
Overall Chart:

Don't worry this is just a small loss, you perceive it big because you are trading on a small account. Can I ask you if you are trading micros or minis? I cannot really tell from your charts. With this small account you have no chances if you trade minis.

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Los Angeles, California
 
 
Posts: 18 since Feb 2021
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SBtrader82 View Post
Don't worry this is just a small loss, you perceive it big because you are trading on a small account. Can I ask you if you are trading micros or minis? I cannot really tell from your charts. With this small account you have no chances if you trade minis.

I'm trading on the minis right now. The reason I traded with an underfunded account was to get experience the extreme ups and downs while being underfunded. However, I just started trading the 50k combine so I'm no longer extremely underfunded.

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Rovigo (ITALY)
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: SierraChart, MotiveWave
Broker: Rithmic, Dorman, Interactive Brokers
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Koeyk View Post
I'm trading on the minis right now. The reason I traded with an underfunded account was to get experience the extreme ups and downs while being underfunded. However, I just started trading the 50k combine so I'm no longer extremely underfunded.

Great!! I think that trading with any funding company is cheaper than trading your own money and you can learn more.
I am currently funded with TopStep. If I can give you a little piece of advice, 50K combine is very small so you must be careful in risk management.
I traded the 50K combine I would use micros instead of mini until I make a considerable amount of money. Minis are quite big right now. IF you trade 1 mini Nasdaq you are controlling 260K of notional value.

This is just my opinion, but make your own experiments.

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Los Angeles, California
 
 
Posts: 18 since Feb 2021
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Day 12 (2/22): $160.20 Green Monday

  • Started the day with $50000.00
  • Ended day with $50160.20
  • Commissions: $14.80
  • I started the combine because I didnít want to deposit money into NinjaTrader for market data, but I still wanted to receive market data.
  • Started using Renko bars in order to read the trend better than using tick charts. It seems to work pretty well
  • Started scalping on the short side because the daily highs were being tested constantly and would usually respond with a dip after.

Strengths:
  • Identifying that it was challenging the tops and dipping right after. So it was good to scalp but not make it hit my usual targets.
  • Not taking a trade if I wasnít really confident with it. Although I knew that there was a good chance that the highs would be broken, I just sat on my hands since it was a Monday.
    • Apparently I made the right call because it dipped extremely low during the day.
Weaknesses:
  • During Mondays, I canít read where the chart will go and what trades I should make.
  • I didnít make many trades today so thereís not much to be said.
Lesson:
  • When there are signs that the Renko bars are showing a downtrend, I should start trying to break even or cash in the small profits even if it doesnít reach my target.

Trades:
  • Trade 1: Win
    • Got caught in a serious chop. Took profits early but oh well. I bought on the 3 Renko where it had serious chop but the 5 Renko showed a clear uptrend.
  • Trade 2:
    • Shouldíve sold where that red square is because it's slowly starting to head towards a downtrend.
  • Trade 3:
    • Quick scalp because I know that it was going to push into an uptrend and break past the daily highs a couple times.
  • Trade 4:
    • Another quick scalp on the short side.

Overall Chart:


Account Performance:

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Los Angeles, California
 
 
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SBtrader82 View Post
Great!! I think that trading with any funding company is cheaper than trading your own money and you can learn more.
I am currently funded with TopStep. If I can give you a little piece of advice, 50K combine is very small so you must be careful in risk management.
I traded the 50K combine I would use micros instead of mini until I make a considerable amount of money. Minis are quite big right now. IF you trade 1 mini Nasdaq you are controlling 260K of notional value.

This is just my opinion, but make your own experiments.

I'm not sure whether this is the Dunning Kruger effect talking but I'd like to think that my risk management is pretty decent after playing with the $1000 account. However, once I blow my account or think the days will be tricky to read (which usually end up being Mondays/Fridays), I'll start taking trades with Micros.

The main reason why I want to keep trading the minis is that I've heard some people say that it has a different effect (mentally) than trading with micros, so I want to experience and adapt to that mental weight.

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Rovigo (ITALY)
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: SierraChart, MotiveWave
Broker: Rithmic, Dorman, Interactive Brokers
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Koeyk View Post
I'm not sure whether this is the Dunning Kruger effect talking but I'd like to think that my risk management is pretty decent after playing with the $1000 account. However, once I blow my account or think the days will be tricky to read (which usually end up being Mondays/Fridays), I'll start taking trades with Micros.

The main reason why I want to keep trading the minis is that I've heard some people say that it has a different effect (mentally) than trading with micros, so I want to experience and adapt to that mental weight.

Yes, I totally agree that in someway trading the minis is far easier than the micros, I trade both of them and I can see the "tricky part of trading the micros". This is the issue with micros: suppose you take a nice trade with a micro and it goes in your favor 50 USD, this is a pretty decent move because you captured a 10 point move. The problem is that your mind will think "it's just 50 bucks I am a trader I don't care about peanuts", as soon as market turns against you and you are still up 35 bucks you won't even care.... at the end you will end up being stopped out with a loss of 20 USD. The same would not happen with minis, because 500USD is (for most people) a decent amount of money to make in one trade.

To say it another way, with micros you might enter in a state of carelessness (don't even know if this word exist in English), and you eat up your capital with small losses.

Concerning the risk management, I think that you might have a very good risk management in place but with the 50K account you have a max daily loss of 500 USD and this is really little money if you factor in the volatility. So from a statistical perspective with minis it's very very tough to manage, but I don't want to discourage you. If you are "wise" maybe you can search for situations of extremely low volatility and in that scenarios you might manage risk easily.

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Wiltshire, United Kingdom
 
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Trading: US Equity Index Futures
 
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Good start with a positive first day in the Combine. With the $50K you have a max DLL of $1,000 not $500, as you'll know, but it could help to use a smaller personal loss limit. Especially for Step 2 where the weekly loss limit is also the same as the DLL, so if you use the full amount and drop close to $1,000 in a day, that puts you out for the week.

You can trade Micros in the standard Topstep Combine account, currently only the same number of contracts whatever the product due to the way the program risk management was originally designed, so 5 Micros max in your case. But that is still $25 per point in the MES and the equity indexes have good daily range these days.
But the Micros are best for longer term trades as the Commissions are over three times the equivalent full size contract fees (ten Micros Combine fees $12, compared to $3.70 standard). That can add up if scalping as you appear to be.

ps. You have the Topstep Dashboard, but I would also include Commissions in Ninjatrader. It is easy to add the commission cost by right-clicking on the account name in the accounts window and creating a $1.85/side one for Topstep, then using that. (I think I have remembered the procedure correctly).
Also as SB said, for most people this is a long road, a lot will never succeed for one reason or another, but very few will start making money straight away.

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  #17 (permalink)
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Day 13 (2/23): $(598.6) Eating the Dirt with Volatility

  • Started the day with $50160.20
  • Ended day with $49561.60
  • Commissions: $(11.70)
  • Profit $450 on the SIM
  • I really ended up eating the dirt today because of the volatility. On a day like this, I shouldnít have my stops too tight or else it will get knocked out within one candle.
    • I shouldíve really been trading with micros when it's volatile like this.
  • HOWEVER, I went shopping on NQ with the sim account. Netted $450 from using the NQís volatility.
    • This happened midday. The reason why I started trading on the sim account was to get more screen time and learn from todayís volatility. It also allowed me to test some new indicators and strategies.
  • Started using AustinCainer indicator which helped me net the $450 profit on NQ

Strengths:
  • After I hit my mental daily loss limit ($450-$600), it was good that I didnít overtrade or revenge traded into more losses.
Weaknesses:
  • Should buy on a dip during the uptrend, not buying during the rip of the uptrend.
  • Hard to pinpoint a lot of weaknesses when I took so few trades and almost got blown up.
Lesson:
  • Since the 50k combine is so low. I should only really trade ES/NQ when there is low volatility. Trade MES/MNQ with the high volatility and see how it works out. This way I donít instantly blow myself out like today.

Trades:
  • Trade 1: Loss
    • I went with the trend, but killed by stop loss yet again. I had too tight of a stop loss on this crazy volatility.
  • Trade 2: Loss
    • Too tight of a stop loss on this crazy volatility.
    • Surprising how I kinda timed this bottom. If I just had a wide enough stop loss, my gains would be between $1500 (on VWAP) to $2050 (peak of the uptrend).
  • Trade 3:
    • Got stopped out thinking it will keep ripping to the upside. Also below VWAP and thought it would start approaching it. However, my entry was just poor and my stop losses were too tight for the day.
    • How I shouldíve gone into this entry is to wait until the 10 Renko showed a dip and then buy into it.
    • Truly unfortunate that my stop loss was at the dip before the rip.

Overall Chart:


Combine Account Performance:

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  #18 (permalink)
Los Angeles, California
 
 
Posts: 18 since Feb 2021
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SBtrader82 View Post
Yes, I totally agree that in someway trading the minis is far easier than the micros, I trade both of them and I can see the "tricky part of trading the micros". This is the issue with micros: suppose you take a nice trade with a micro and it goes in your favor 50 USD, this is a pretty decent move because you captured a 10 point move. The problem is that your mind will think "it's just 50 bucks I am a trader I don't care about peanuts", as soon as market turns against you and you are still up 35 bucks you won't even care.... at the end you will end up being stopped out with a loss of 20 USD. The same would not happen with minis, because 500USD is (for most people) a decent amount of money to make in one trade.

To say it another way, with micros you might enter in a state of carelessness (don't even know if this word exist in English), and you eat up your capital with small losses.

Concerning the risk management, I think that you might have a very good risk management in place but with the 50K account you have a max daily loss of 500 USD and this is really little money if you factor in the volatility. So from a statistical perspective with minis it's very very tough to manage, but I don't want to discourage you. If you are "wise" maybe you can search for situations of extremely low volatility and in that scenarios you might manage risk easily.

It was actually great that you suggested this idea to me during today's market conditions so that I can experience it for myself. The volatility really made me eat the dirt within a couple of minutes. I agree that I should start trading micros during volatile markets (like today) and trade minis when the markets are calmer and less volatile. This will allow me to manage my risk a lot better. Thanks!

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  #19 (permalink)
Los Angeles, California
 
 
Posts: 18 since Feb 2021
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matthew28 View Post
Good start with a positive first day in the Combine. With the $50K you have a max DLL of $1,000 not $500, as you'll know, but it could help to use a smaller personal loss limit. Especially for Step 2 where the weekly loss limit is also the same as the DLL, so if you use the full amount and drop close to $1,000 in a day, that puts you out for the week.

You can trade Micros in the standard Topstep Combine account, currently only the same number of contracts whatever the product due to the way the program risk management was originally designed, so 5 Micros max in your case. But that is still $25 per point in the MES and the equity indexes have good daily range these days.
But the Micros are best for longer term trades as the Commissions are over three times the equivalent full size contract fees (ten Micros Combine fees $12, compared to $3.70 standard). That can add up if scalping as you appear to be.

ps. You have the Topstep Dashboard, but I would also include Commissions in Ninjatrader. It is easy to add the commission cost by right-clicking on the account name in the accounts window and creating a $1.85/side one for Topstep, then using that. (I think I have remembered the procedure correctly).
Also as SB said, for most people this is a long road, a lot will never succeed for one reason or another, but very few will start making money straight away.

Will take that advice! A similar response to SBTrader82, I will trade the micros during volatile markets and trade minis when it's calmer so I can manage my risk better (and not get stopped all the time). I will also put some size into the micro trades so it can be worthwhile and avoid carelessness.

Also, which commission option should I take in order to include it in the Ninjatrader PnL?

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  #20 (permalink)
Rovigo (ITALY)
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: SierraChart, MotiveWave
Broker: Rithmic, Dorman, Interactive Brokers
Trading: Emini, Nasdaq, DAX, Bund, IBEX
 
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Koeyk View Post
It was actually great that you suggested this idea to me during today's market conditions so that I can experience it for myself. The volatility really made me eat the dirt within a couple of minutes. I agree that I should start trading micros during volatile markets (like today) and trade minis when the markets are calmer and less volatile. This will allow me to manage my risk a lot better. Thanks!

I am so glad that my advice could help. Yesterday I traded micros as well (micro Nasdaq) and I think I could have not traded the mini, given the amount of volatility. I think micros are good especially for nasdaq and Sp500 futures, I also tried micro gold but there is some slippage and liquidity is not as good as equity futures micros.
Keep the great job you are doing with your journal!! Have a nice day.

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  #21 (permalink)
Elite_Member
Wiltshire, United Kingdom
 
Experience: Beginner
Trading: US Equity Index Futures
 
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Koeyk View Post
Also, which commission option should I take in order to include it in the Ninjatrader PnL?

I haven't used Ninja trader for a while so can't remember exactly how to do it now, but in Ninja help menu there is a page that deals with setting commission to an account where it explains how to create your own template which is what you will need to do as Topstep $1.85/per side won't match that of the Ninja Brokerage commission options.

It is relatively simple to do, I have just forgotten as I no longer use that platform. Up to you of course, but personally I like to see the net P&L on my platform.

(Having said that, you will also want to set the Micro products to $0.60/per side. The Commission template is added to an account so if you move from Step1 to Step2 you need to select your template for that new account too).

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  #22 (permalink)
Los Angeles, California
 
 
Posts: 18 since Feb 2021
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Day 14 (2/24): $(397.05) Micros Are Tricky

  • Started the day with $49561.60
  • Ended day with $49,164.55
  • Commissions: $(15.80)
  • I trade micros during the early market when itís volatile so I can manage my risk better THEN transition into the minis when it starts calming down.
  • My current strategy of utilizing VWAP and recognizing basic patterns and trends is not fit for these market conditions.
    • I need to revise my strategy or try a different approach.
    • The main question is how I should get my new strategy.
      • Should I just see whatís working for other people in this market condition?
      • Or should I try to completely develop my own? The problem with this is, is that I don't know how much there is out there due to the lack of experience.

Strengths:
  • I didnít lose as much as yesterday so thatís a positive. Trading micros during high volatility seems like a good strategy so I donít immediately blow my account.
Weaknesses:
  • Iím starting to realize that my poor entries are causing me to lose a lot of trades that I can win off of.
  • My stop losses were too tight on micros because I applied the same strategy to when I trade minis, but I should realize that I can afford to risk more but also plan for greater movements.
Lesson:
  • Larger stop losses on micros so I donít get immediately stopped.
  • My strategies are not right for this market condition. So I need to do some reworking.
  • I should start asking around for some guidance so thereís some path that I can follow in order to improve.

Trades:

  • Trade 1: Micro Win
    • Used my standard strategy of buying below VWAP and on an uptrend.
  • Trade 2: Micro Loss
    • Unfortunately my strategy didnít work on this trade.
  • Trade 3: Micro Loss
    • I honestly shouldíve kept my stop loss and 3 ticks down instead of shifting close to breakeven. Damn. Itís micros, so I can afford to risk more than I do with minis.
  • Trade 4: Micro Loss
    • Bought on uptrend but gets stop lossed. My stop losses were too tight for the micro contracts again.
  • Trade 5: Mini Loss
    • It seemed like it was wayyy above VWAP and that it would eventually return to it during the middle of the day, but it didnít.
    • I didnít trade with the trend with this one and hoped for another reversal.
  • Trade 6: Mini Loss
    • Same as trade 5. I thought it would reverse and return to VWAP. I wasn't planning on riding it to VWAP but at least to a profit.
  • Trade 7:
    • Same as trade 5 and 6. Unfortunately I get stopped before I get the chance to make a 5 point profit.

Overall Chart:



Account Performance:


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  #23 (permalink)
Los Angeles, California
 
 
Posts: 18 since Feb 2021
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Day 15 (2/25): $(463.55) I Donít Have a Winning Strategy

  • Started the day with $49,164.55
  • Ended day with $48,701.00
  • Commissions: $(7.30)
  • Apparently gold has good setups unlike the index futures.
  • Seems like my pattern recognition with the fib levels was working today but didnít pull the trigger because I didn't want to lose a trade.
    • Stopped working in the afternoon which caused the final micro loss.
  • I might switch back to a tick chart because although renko is easier to read; I end up adding meaning to it rather than make it useful to my analysis.
  • Also no more minis from today until I fix my combine.
  • Here is my plan to better manage my account better (this will be useless if I donít have a winning strategy...):
    • Scalp, Scalp, Swing(?)
    • Basically, I will scalp a couple points (3-5) in order to build a cushion for losses.
    • Then once I start to notice that the market is slowing down, I will put a trade that will bring a wider profit range. However, this means that my stop loss will need to be increased.
      • Afternoon markets seem to be slower than early.

Strengths:
  • Not taking any trades that I seemed confident. But then again, I wasnít confident in most of the things that happened today...
Weaknesses:
  • I donít have a winning strategy. I need to search the internet or ask some people around to see how they trade to get some ideas.
Lesson:
  • Donít add more meaning to a renko chart. Iím switching back to a tick chart because it seemed easier for me to understand patterns. However, I wonít be able to recognize patterns as easily.

Trades:
  • Trade 1: Micro Loss
    • Although, I got stopped, I didnít want to move the stop loss further down because I wasn't sure that it was going to have its uptrend.
  • Trade 2: Mini Loss
    • I thought this was the time and the right fib level that would make it return to VWAP.
  • Trade 3: Micro Loss
    • Thought it would retrace back to VWAP. It did end up retracing close to VWAP but my entry was just bad. I used fib retracement levels for this.

Overall Chart:
MES

ES


Account Performance:


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  #24 (permalink)
Los Angeles, California
 
 
Posts: 18 since Feb 2021
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Day 16 (2/26): $79.10 Micro Trades Are Getting Better!!

  • Started the day with $48,701.00
  • Ended day with $48780.10
  • Commissions: $(8.40)
  • My strategy:
    • https://youtu.be/MmVDAAd5Sf0
    • Bollinger Band
      • Using the consolidation and release. If the bands donít touch the top of the band, it shows a weak uptrend; same with the downtrends.
    • MACD
      • Extra confirmations seeing where the momentum is.
    • AustinCainer
      • I just had this there to see whether my strategies were ahead of this or not.
    • RSI
      • Extra confirmation for overbought/undersold levels
    • Lunchtime Area
      • Using the concept of time, after lunchtime (10:00am-11:00am PST). There will be a consolidation and I can use this to forecast whether the band will explode up or down.
    • Tick Charts/minute charts
      • I bounce between 1000/2000 tick and 1/3/5/10/30 minute charts to read trends and such.
    • Fibonacci Retracement
      • I use these on the larger time frame to whether the trend will hit certain fib lines.
  • This is such a small win but this is probably the proudest win so far because I feel like I won with less luck compared to all the profit trades. Also shows that my analysis on large movement trades worked out.
  • In the beginning, I was trying to get used to the different indicators I was using and how I would create a strategy out of them so there were losses.

Strengths:
  • I mightíve made a strategy for myself with just a bit of research and my own pattern recognition.
Weaknesses:
  • I should definitely look around at the larger time frames to see whether something is in a general uptrend or downtrend
Lesson:
  • Check out where there is a sharp consolidation on the higher time frames then go into the lower timeframe to see a good entry.
    • This will help me develop a good big movement entry (i'll call it a swing even tho it isnít)
    • May or may not be applicable to scalping during open volatility for scalping.

Trades:
  • Trade 1: Micro Loss
    • Shorted on a downtrend. However it ended up reversing on me. Luckily I was saved by the stop loss that I set. I shouldíve realized that it didnít touch the bottom of the band so the downtrend was weak.
    • Saved by stop loss
  • Trade 2: Micro Loss
    • I didnít look at the higher time frames to see that it was still on an uptrend. Also didnít account for the bollinger band squeeze and only looked at the MACD and RSI.
  • Trade 3: Micro Loss
    • Got out of a trade quickly because MACD shows that it will start heading towards a downtrend. It also hit the bottom bollinger band which could mean a strong downtrend. Again, didnít look at the higher timeframes. I moved my take profit so that my loss wouldn't be so big.
  • Trade 4: Micro Win
    • Finally a win. Was it by luck? Idk. It was quite a roller coaster though. I took this trade on the 1000 tick chart to see if I can get a scalp profit to do my plan of scalp, scalp, swing. (~5point profit)
    • It was on a downtrend.
  • Trade 5: Micro Loss
    • I got stopped out, shouldíve moved it higher, didn't plan on it being that tight. Focused too much on the 2000 tick chart for this one. Seemed like it was going to trend down further. What I shouldíve done is look at the smaller time frame (1000tick) and notice that it showed a weak downtrend in the consolidation. Also shouldíve waited until I saw an actually sharp/more consolidation to make the decision.
    • Actually I was saved by stop loss
  • Trade 6: Micro Win
    • YAY! Big 18 point win! Bought on an uptrend in the higher timeframe. My entry was also pretty well placed because it was at the local dip before it ripped up.
    • Good set profit because it was basically the daily high.
  • Trade 7: Micro Win
    • Ugh i could've gotten more, but my ATM strategies are weird. I really need to figure these out. I was trying to trail one buy limit. I thought I bought 2 contractsÖ
    • My second contract wouldíve been set at 61.80% because itís a common level where price action gets reversed from. (and this was right.)
    • The pattern I saw was a head and shoulders and lunchtime consolidation with bollinger band

Overall Chart:

Account Performance:

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  #25 (permalink)
Los Angeles, California
 
 
Posts: 18 since Feb 2021
Thanks: 14 given, 21 received

Day 17 (3/1): $(25.95) Trade With Trend

  • Started the day with $48780.10
  • Ended day with $48,754.15
  • Commissions: $(7.20)
  • During the short trades Iíve had and failed to go towards the downtrend, I shouldíve looked at the overall heat map charts to get a good grasp on the macro.
    • There is no reason to be shorting with something in a strong uptrend.
  • I was so short biased in the early trading thinking that it would go down.

Strengths:
  • I didnít have too many strengths today, but I did a nice move by moving my stop loss at a profit level.
Weaknesses:
  • TRADE WITH THE TREND! TREND IS YOUR FRIEND. I should be more patient in waiting for the proper setups to notice that the higher time frames still hold a strong upward trend.
  • Iím starting to experience death by a thousand cuts due to my carelessness with micros. I should really treat these as if they were the ES.
  • With the last trade I had, I felt like it was overtrading/revenge trading that ended up going towards my way. However, I shouldnít rely on this.
Lesson:
  • I need to trade with the trend more. The trends follow the higher time frames better.

Trades:
  • Trade 1: Win
    • Following its upward trend on the higher timeframes.
    • When I watched the entry for the bands, there was a weak move towards the downtrend which means that itíll move up
  • Trade 2:
    • Short bias thinking that it would return to VWAP didnít read the higher bollinger band to notice that it was still at a strong uptrend. I shouldíve used these smaller time frames as entries instead of reversal opportunities.
  • Trade 3:
    • Short bias thinking that it would return to VWAP didnít read the higher bollinger band to notice that it was still at a strong uptrend. I shouldíve used these smaller time frames as entries instead of reversal opportunities.
  • Trade 4: Micro Loss
    • Poor entry. If I read the bollinger bands properly and watch it consolidate more, I wouldíve bought on the dip instead of shorting it.
  • Trade 5 Micro Loss
    • I thought it would try to return to VWAP but it didnít.
    • Saved by stop loss yet again.
  • Trade 6: Micro win
    • I hated holding this trade because I couldnít tell whether it was overtrading/revenge trading. I thought the setup looked nice for a nice uptrend which ended up being the case. However, the highs and lows of the trade were extreme mentally.
    • I shouldíve sold at an earlier point but oh well. A profit is a profit.

Overall Chart:

Account Performance:

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