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Jason's Journal

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  #21 (permalink)
 jharthun 
Hacienda Heights, CA
 
Experience: Intermediate
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I took a few trades today. The first chart shows I was stopped out on a couple triangles. Then I caught a nice move up. I actually got into this trade before the triangle appeared on the chart. The second chart shows that these triangles often appear after price has made it's move. The arrows show when the triangle appeared. I probably need to trade on a higher time frame. The third chart shows the kind of mistake I make all the time. I bought at 82.30 and got out at 82.25 because it looked like the market was going to continue down. This all happened before the triangle appeared. If only I had left my stop in place and held on a little longer ...

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  #22 (permalink)
 jharthun 
Hacienda Heights, CA
 
Experience: Intermediate
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I took way too many trades today. The day actually started out pretty good. I hit a couple winners and kept the losers very small. However, as soon as I gave back my profits for the day, every trade just went wrong.

I recently read this post by Big Mike which mentions the tendency to trade on smaller and smaller time frames.



He mentions some of the time frames I've been using. I've been trying to trade market noise and it's not working. So, I need to make some adjustments and try something different. I'm going to try a 3 minute chart tomorrow and see how it goes.

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  #23 (permalink)
 jharthun 
Hacienda Heights, CA
 
Experience: Intermediate
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I haven't been trading for the last few days. I've been watching a few markets using 1, 2, or 3 minute time frames to see if I can trade these successfully. I also decided to rework my chart templates. I know I said I wasn't going to change my charts again, but I did it anyways. My old chart templates were too busy and hard on the eyes with all the bright colors. I've attached a few samples. My next task will be to clearly define my trading rules...

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  #24 (permalink)
 jharthun 
Hacienda Heights, CA
 
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Well, I haven't posted anything here in awhile. This journal is on life support. I've been busy working on some new charts. I guess I need to get my coding fix at least once a day. Now that some time has gone by, looking back at my original post again, I think I was really down on myself. I've been trading on the simulator, which is what I should have been doing in the first place. With a little more practice, I'm confident that I'll start trading live again soon. I realized that there is nothing else I'd rather being doing. I've also remembered how much I use to enjoy trading options. In the future, I will post more about some option trading strategies that I like.

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  #25 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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From your original post:


jharthun View Post
I'm finally starting to deal with who I am as a trader. I'm an emotional, inconsistent, and undisciplined trader.

I feel good about my charts. I've changed them several times in the past. For now, that whole routine is over. The charts are not the problem.

From your most recent post:


jharthun View Post
I've been busy working on some new charts. I guess I need to get my coding fix at least once a day.

Unfortunately, this is the same pattern most traders go through as they blow up their account. They keep changing external things like charts, thinking it is the methodology that is causing them to lose money when it is almost always their execution.

What you have to do is break the cycle. You need to measure yourself every single day, and work every single day to improve yourself. Not your charts, but your execution. Execution is all encompassing, but the primary focus is going to be on "all the little things" that cause you to lose money on a day when you shouldn't have. These things come a lot from psychology but also from discipline. It is these things that need your attention, not your chart.

Just my opinion

Mike

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  #26 (permalink)
 jharthun 
Hacienda Heights, CA
 
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Hi Big Mike. Thanks for your comments. I've stopped updating my charts for now and switched to practicing execution. Unfortunately, I'm having some trouble executing consistently. I would like to trade pull-backs and breakouts after a trend change. I can usually spot these on the chart, but often miss the entry as it happens.

I've been thinking about the possibility of combining automated and manual trading. I'm not familiar with strategy development, so I don't know if this is possible. I could probably code a basic strategy to enter an order based on my trend change indicator. This would not be the optimal entry in most cases compared to waiting for the pull-back or the breakout. However, I was thinking about entering with one contract and manually adding on for the pull-backs and breakouts. After entry, I would manually move up my stops to manage the trade. I would also like the ability to manually turn off the strategy during chop.

So, the idea is to automatically enter a trade and then manage it manually. What do you think about this idea? Could this be a good way to practice execution on the simulator? Is this even possible? If so, do you know where I can find a good code sample for this? Thanks.

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  #27 (permalink)
 Big Mike 
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jharthun View Post
Hi Big Mike. Thanks for your comments. I've stopped updating my charts for now and switched to practicing execution. Unfortunately, I'm having some trouble executing consistently. I would like to trade pull-backs and breakouts after a trend change. I can usually spot these on the chart, but often miss the entry as it happens.

The best way to practice this is by using a market replay feature in your platform. The problem is that a lot of people spend countless hours at the end of a session or on the weekend, etc, reviewing historical charts. These charts are not the same as when doing it "live", there are just so many factors that are different.

Pick some random day you do not remember the outcome of, and replay 2 hours of it or so on market replay @ 2-4x speed. See how you do.

Another tool I use often is just a simple "1 bar at a time" advance. Start your chart so that the right side is showing the open of your instrument (ie 8am). Then just press right-arrow one bar at a time. What do you do this bar? long, short, flat - etc. Right-arrow. What do you do this bar? Right-arrow. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Just look at everything by advancing it one bar at a time instead of seeing the completed picture then going back and marking up a "would have" chart.

Mike

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  #28 (permalink)
 aquarian1 
Point Roberts, WA, USA
 
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Hi Jason,

I'm new at this board and your journal is the first thread I have read. Firstly, I would like to congratulate you on starting it and sharing your experiences and thoughts.In your first post you spoke of feeling you are undisciplined (and emotional and inconsistent) "Unfortunately, I'm just too emotional, inconsistent, and undisciplined to practice. I can't stand trading on the simulator." Then later you mentioned that you are getting afraid of losing and cutting the trade short too early.

I once read that discipline is "Doing what you should do, when you should do it, whether you want to or not." - Brian Tracy.

Recently, I watched an online seminar and the speaker started by saying that 91.3% of all new traders (I assume it was in futures), lose all their money in the first 3 months - I don't know if it was valid stat or not and how many more are out of the game by year 1 and year 2. I also traded cash too early and lost and developed a fear of losing. In my handwritten journal I have written in big letters "HAVE CONFIDENCE IN YOURSELF!!" - and not just once! hah, hah . You may well be in danger of ingraining emotional trades and fear of loss before you start winning.

You must survive to stay in the game. I suggest you make some rules for yourself, type them and print the out and stick with them.

I also live in PT zone and I have my alarm set for 3:30am - and I'm not a morning person! You might want to set a rule such as I must earn 3pts per day for a week (i.e. 15pts and not multiplied by the number of contracts) on the sim trader before I earn the right to trade one real trade. Also typing out and printing your setup rules and making sure all the sim trades and real trades follow you setup rules.

You have had good advice from Big Mike (and others) such as the link you gave "How to change a patten" and using the replay.

All the best!

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  #29 (permalink)
 jharthun 
Hacienda Heights, CA
 
Experience: Intermediate
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Posts: 49 since Jul 2009
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Just checking to see if I can still post to my journal.


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