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Tiger's Price Action Journal
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Tiger's Price Action Journal

  #1 (permalink)
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Tiger's Price Action Journal

Greetings everyone,

I'd like briefly introduce myself and then get down to business. First, a little history:

I've been 'hobbying' in trading for several years, having gone from swing trading momentum stocks, to day trading momentum stocks, to trading options, and finally, around last summer, I started trading futures. The end of 2009 wasn't the best of times as I kept bouncing from instrument to instrument and indicator to indicator. Needless to say, I lost money, but nothing really bad.

At the beginning of 2010 I came to realize that I should just focus on a single market and try to learn that. I played around with YM, TF, GC, ZS, and CL. For some reason, CL really appeals to me, and I've been focusing on that instrument exclusively since April. Of course, I lost money January - April. During the first quarter of 2010, I experimented with various indicators and time frames, trading 1 minute and tick charts. I was afraid to trade any higher time frame because I didn't want the risk exposure. Around May, things finally started to click, and for the next several months I was consistently profitable and made back all my losses from the year, plus some.

Around July, things slowed down considerably, and I found myself taking fewer and fewer trades. My indicator that had served me so well for the preceding several months was now giving me many false signals, but more disturbingly, NOT giving me signals when I could clearly see the market moving.

So at the end of August, while I still had a modest profit on the year, I decided to rip up my trading plan and start over. I've been studying charts, reading books, and doing lots of simulated trading. I still haven't been able to get my arms around this, and have yet to write down a single rule.

Since I'm still using a 20 period moving average and volume, I supposed I'm not purely price action yet. My main setup is trading pullbacks to the 20 ema.

Here's what I did today. I'm trading 1 contract on the 5 minute chart.

Trade #1:
Oil had been coming down all night and bottomed around 02:00 before beginning a climb up. At 04:50 it made its 3rd failed push to go higher and I thought about going short. However, I'm loathe to short an uptrend, no matter how brief, so I waited for confirmation. The 05:15 down bar looked good, and I put a stop order 1 tick below and entered short at 81.33 on the next bar. Still being nervous about shorting this uptrend, I moved my stop to BE +1 after 5 ticks to the good and was taken out BE +1.

Trade #2
After oil failed to drop, I expected it to bounce of the ema. The 05:35 bar was a strong up bar and I went long at the open of the next bar for +25 ticks.

The pullback at 05:55 was the only pullback for almost an hour and I just watched it go up. Still not good enough of a trader to get into a leg like that, so I was going to wait for a pullback.

Trade #3
The big drop at 06:55 was more than I was expecting. I thought that bar had a lot of downward momentum, and since it closed near its extreme, I went short on the open of the next bar at 81.89. This is a great example of violating a rule, since there was news coming out at 07:00 and I totally forgot about it. Stopped out with 2 ticks of slip. -13 ticks.

Trade #4
I know I'm not supposed to get angry, but after I got stopped out, oil dropped 25 ticks. I saw the 07:10 bar as a failed attempt to return to the uptrend, so I went short on the 07:15 bar at 81.79 and was stopped out on the next bar. -11 ticks.

Trade #5
The 07:20 strong up bar convinced me that the trend was returning, and when the 07:25 bar retraced to the ema, I went long at the close and was stopped out on the next bar. -11 ticks.

Trade #6
It was obvious to me that I was over trading and getting a little emotional, so I sat back for awhile to watch and see what the market was going to do. After whipsawing around the ema for 3 bars, the 08:15 formed a doji right at the top of the 3 previous bars and failed to close below the ema. I went long on the next bar, but it retraced on me on the 08:25 bar and I got out BE +1.

Six trades was enough, so I called it a day. Down 8 ticks on 6 trades.

Tomorrow is another day.

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  #3 (permalink)
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Hi Tiger, thanks for your detailed post. Good to see your journal here, I look forward to learning more about your method and how you execute on it in the coming days.

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  #4 (permalink)
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Tiger45 View Post
Greetings everyone,

I'd like briefly introduce myself and then get down to business. First, a little history:

I've been 'hobbying' in trading for several years, having gone from swing trading momentum stocks, to day trading momentum stocks, to trading options, and finally, around last summer, I started trading futures. The end of 2009 wasn't the best of times as I kept bouncing from instrument to instrument and indicator to indicator. Needless to say, I lost money, but nothing really bad.

At the beginning of 2010 I came to realize that I should just focus on a single market and try to learn that. I played around with YM, TF, GC, ZS, and CL. For some reason, CL really appeals to me, and I've been focusing on that instrument exclusively since April. Of course, I lost money January - April. During the first quarter of 2010, I experimented with various indicators and time frames, trading 1 minute and tick charts. I was afraid to trade any higher time frame because I didn't want the risk exposure. Around May, things finally started to click, and for the next several months I was consistently profitable and made back all my losses from the year, plus some.

Around July, things slowed down considerably, and I found myself taking fewer and fewer trades. My indicator that had served me so well for the preceding several months was now giving me many false signals, but more disturbingly, NOT giving me signals when I could clearly see the market moving.

So at the end of August, while I still had a modest profit on the year, I decided to rip up my trading plan and start over. I've been studying charts, reading books, and doing lots of simulated trading. I still haven't been able to get my arms around this, and have yet to write down a single rule.

Since I'm still using a 20 period moving average and volume, I supposed I'm not purely price action yet. My main setup is trading pullbacks to the 20 ema.

Here's what I did today. I'm trading 1 contract on the 5 minute chart.

Trade #1:
Oil had been coming down all night and bottomed around 02:00 before beginning a climb up. At 04:50 it made its 3rd failed push to go higher and I thought about going short. However, I'm loathe to short an uptrend, no matter how brief, so I waited for confirmation. The 05:15 down bar looked good, and I put a stop order 1 tick below and entered short at 81.33 on the next bar. Still being nervous about shorting this uptrend, I moved my stop to BE +1 after 5 ticks to the good and was taken out BE +1.

Trade #2
After oil failed to drop, I expected it to bounce of the ema. The 05:35 bar was a strong up bar and I went long at the open of the next bar for +25 ticks.

The pullback at 05:55 was the only pullback for almost an hour and I just watched it go up. Still not good enough of a trader to get into a leg like that, so I was going to wait for a pullback.

Trade #3
The big drop at 06:55 was more than I was expecting. I thought that bar had a lot of downward momentum, and since it closed near its extreme, I went short on the open of the next bar at 81.89. This is a great example of violating a rule, since there was news coming out at 07:00 and I totally forgot about it. Stopped out with 2 ticks of slip. -13 ticks.

Trade #4
I know I'm not supposed to get angry, but after I got stopped out, oil dropped 25 ticks. I saw the 07:10 bar as a failed attempt to return to the uptrend, so I went short on the 07:15 bar at 81.79 and was stopped out on the next bar. -11 ticks.

Trade #5
The 07:20 strong up bar convinced me that the trend was returning, and when the 07:25 bar retraced to the ema, I went long at the close and was stopped out on the next bar. -11 ticks.

Trade #6
It was obvious to me that I was over trading and getting a little emotional, so I sat back for awhile to watch and see what the market was going to do. After whipsawing around the ema for 3 bars, the 08:15 formed a doji right at the top of the 3 previous bars and failed to close below the ema. I went long on the next bar, but it retraced on me on the 08:25 bar and I got out BE +1.

Six trades was enough, so I called it a day. Down 8 ticks on 6 trades.

Tomorrow is another day.

A lot of CL traders like range bars including me...I am NOT an expert but here is what the same price action looked like using the same 20 EMA but using a 6 range bar and a 10 tick profit target.

TechSmith | Screencast.com, online video sharing, 2010-10-04_2006

the 5 minute chart is messy but the range bar is pretty clear....imho anyway....and I am an admitted novice on time based charts.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, Leonardo da Vinci


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  #5 (permalink)
Market Wizard
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Tiger45 View Post
Greetings everyone,

...
Trade #6
It was obvious to me that I was over trading and getting a little emotional, so I sat back for awhile to watch and see what the market was going to do. After whipsawing around the ema for 3 bars, the 08:15 formed a doji right at the top of the 3 previous bars and failed to close below the ema. I went long on the next bar, but it retraced on me on the 08:25 bar and I got out BE +1.

Six trades was enough, so I called it a day. Down 8 ticks on 6 trades.

Tomorrow is another day.

nice, I watched a zig zag forming then I saw a hammer doji that made me look for long then it broke the down t/l and I jumped in. -sim trade.

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  #6 (permalink)
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aztrader9 View Post
A lot of CL traders like range bars including me...I am NOT an expert but here is what the same price action looked like using the same 20 EMA but using a 6 range bar and a 10 tick profit target.

TechSmith | Screencast.com, online video sharing, 2010-10-04_2006

the 5 minute chart is messy but the range bar is pretty clear....imho anyway....and I am an admitted novice on time based charts.

Thanks for that. It looks interesting. I know the Woodie's people are big range bar fans. Right now I'm trying to focus on 1 chart, but I'll give that a look on the weekend. I'm still new to NT and don't know much of what it's capable of.

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  #7 (permalink)
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cory View Post
nice, I watched a zig zag forming then I saw a hammer doji that made me look for long then it broke the down t/l and I jumped in. -sim trade.

Glad that worked for you. On a few of my trades, I had the right idea, but there wasn't enough follow through on the market for me to get a good trade in. I may experiment with 2 contracts and see how that works. I could have gotten 10 ticks on this trade on the first contract.

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  #8 (permalink)
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Up 18 ticks today, but I think a better trader would have done a lot better. With my 20/20 hind sight, I see great opportunity.

I started off the morning by missing an entry that I like to take (see circle). The market was in an uptrend, then a big down bar, followed by a small inside bar with trend. It's always nicer when the next bar is a small, with trend bar, but I should have went long right above the close of the doji at 05:05. Next time.

Trade #1
After the long legged doji at 05:30, I drew the triangle and watched it paint. From what I've read, symmetric triangles are consolidation patterns for a with trend entry. When the big bar blasted out at 05:45, I put in a stop order at 87.12 (about midway back down that surge bar) and was filled on the retrace and got 15 ticks.

I've got a trailing stop on my 1 contract, so someday I hope to catch bigger moves like this. Anyway, I watched the market move up and was looking for a pullback entry. I saw the down doji at 06:25 and thought it might be a short entry (it was), but I was too nervous about shorting this market. Had that candle been at the top of the run, I would have done it. After the 06:30 candle painted, I drew the channel lines. I was eagerly waiting for a bounce off the EMA to go long again. When the 06:50 bar painted, I wanted to wait 1 more bar for confirmation of the long trend resumption. The next bar was a doji right at the EMA (hate those), so I figured anything could happen now.

Trade #2
This is the same rule I violated yesterday. I traded on news. I'm never going to do this again. Really. When the news came out at 07:00, oil started dropping, then began a retracement. There was a double bottom that formed right against the trend line 2 bars earlier, and I thought they would serve as resistance now. Wrong. I went short with a market order right at price crossed 82.11 with a few seconds left on the bar. Price kept right on retraceing and took me out, THEN decided to move in my direction. Fortunately, I only risked 9 ticks.

Back to the hunt for a long entry. When the 07:25 bar printed, I drew the trend line and put in an order to go long at 81.18 that wasn't filled.

After that big surge bar at 07:40, price started to consolidate. At 08:00 I drew that triangle. I was expecting this to break out to the upside, but after the 08:00 bar failed to go higher I put in a short order at 82.71 that was not filled.

Trade #3
When the 10:00 bar failed, I went short at 82.76 on the 10:05 bar, about midway back up the signal bar. Still nervous about shorting this, I moved my stop to BE + 1 first opportunity and was taken out.

I watched price return to the EMA at 10:30 and close above. The next 2 bars were doji's and I really don't like them when they are at the EMA. Even though they both closed above the line and the second one had a higher low, I didn't go long. Dang.

Trade #4
The 10:45 bar looked like a big climax bar, and when the next 2 bars failed to go higher, I put in a stop sell at 82.95 and was filled. Got out with only +11 ticks because of that trailing stop thing. Might need to rethink that strategy. It would be nice to know what other people do trading only 1 contract.

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Up 10 ticks today on 5 trades. My two losers were just plain stupid trades. Always easy to see that in hind sight.

Trade #1
Saw the big surge bar at 06:05, followed by an opposite inside bar, then a small bar back in the same direction. Went long at 82.69 and got 7 ticks before I was stopped out from the retrace. I meant to enter a stop at 82.70, but screwed up the order. Need to remember to hold the control key down, then press the mouse wheel. +7 ticks.

I watched that triangle form and was expecting a break to the down side. It gave a false break out, then drifted sideways for a few bars. Too close to the news to play.

Trade #2
This was a stupid trade. After price reversed from the news, it spiked up on on the 07:50 bar. It made 2 more attempts to pierce that level, and I was planning on shorting the 4th attempt. I put my sell stop order in at 83.16 (right around the top of those 3 pushes), hoping price would make 1 more push up before heading down. Well, it made a push up alright. There really needs to be more rounding and signs of exhaustion before taking these kinds of trades. -11 ticks.

Trade #3
Right after that big surge bar took me out, a shooting star formed on the next bar. I went short at the close of that bar at 83.37. Price went up and took me out before dropping 10 ticks. What I was seeing as a shooting star top was actually just the first bar in the pullback. -11 ticks.

After the real shooting star at 08:40, price drifted sideways for a for 30 minutes or so. I saw the tops of the 09:00 - 09:10 bars topping out, and I was very tempted to go short on the 4th bar at 83.87 but didn't because I just wasn't sure if this was a sideways consolidation before more upside, or was it really a trend change.

Decided to watch. No trade is a trade, right?

Trade #4
While price was moving sideways, I noticed the support level at 83.68. After the 09:25 bar closed below that, I put in an order short at 83.68 and got + 10 ticks.

Trade #5
Price bounced off the EMA for 2 bars, then headed down. I viewed those 2 bars as a pullback on a new down trend, so I was going to wait until the trend confirmed. The 09:50 bar was a Lower Low, and when the 09:55 bear doji formed under the EMA, I went short at the open of the next bar at 83.50 and got +15 ticks.

I really need to learn how to play these pullbacks better. The first step is just to SEE them.

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Down 21 ticks on 4 trades today. It's frustrating when you lose money on a strongly trending day, where you could have gone short practically anywhere, and made money. My second trade was my gift to better traders. You're welcome.

Trade #1
After the 60 tick drop from the morning's high, I interpreted the down/up candle pair at 07:00 - 07:05 as a two bar reversal and went long at 83.02. I moved my stop to BE + 1, but was taken out with 1 tick of slip. ) ticks on the trade.

Trade #2
Not willing to believe that this was a false breakout, I got back in on the same bar (should be a rule about this) at 83.05 and was stopped out. -11 ticks.

I was waiting for price to move closer to the EMA for a pullback entry. The action around 07:30 - 07:40 was too choppy for me to want to risk an entry. So I watched as price continued to fall. I drew that trend line after I noticed the 08:20 bar spike up.

Trade #3
When the 08:30 bar failed to break out of the trend line, I went short at 82.60 on the open of the next bar and was stopped out. An excellent example of being right and wrong at the same time, since after getting stopped out, price dropped. -11 ticks.

Trade #4
I figured that price wasn't going back to the EMA anytime soon, so I shorted the 2nd lower low. Got a few ticks in my favor, then taken out on the reversal. +1 tick.

I gave back all of my last two day's earnings.

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