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MT trading journal and learning log

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  #1 (permalink)
Seattle Washington
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradeStation
Trading: ES
 
Posts: 52 since Jan 2011
Thanks: 52 given, 35 received

Trading Log - 2-24-2011
Very aware that I am going to be journaling my trades everyday. Ideally I will post the results. That's the ideal. It is now 10 m before opening bell and time to prep charts. 1st eligible trade at 6:35 PST but I doubted my system - did not enter

7:15 am pst - entered buy - great entry - poor exit for loss at first sign of reversal - move continued in direction of entry (this is my greatest nemesis - I have conditioned myself to exit at smallest sign of reversal) - trade would have hit my profit target (THIS IS THE OUTCOME OF TRADING TRAUMA - MY NERVOUS SYSTEM IS CONDITIONED TO REACT AT first SIGN OF REVERSAL - THE STIMULUS-RESPONSE OF A PAVLOVIAN DOG)
My intent is to use the trading journal to learn to monitor and change this conditioned response.
Now back to trading

After I get that conditioned reaction I observed how want to jump in asap - waiting for a trade pattern to setup - 7:45 am entered sell on what I thought was trend continuation pattern, but entered at support line - exited when I saw my error as market turned up (second error today) - thus I missed the buy setup and entry that emerged within the next 4 bars
I HAVE ALREADY MADE MY THREE CLASSIC MISTAKES THIS MORNING:
1. DID NOT TRUST THE SYSTEM AND ITS CLEAR SIGNALS, SO DID NTO TAKE 5 GOOD TRADES
2. CUT AND RUN AT SMALLEST REVERSAL AGAINST TRADE
3. ENTERED TO ENTER BY "FINDING" AND JUSTIFYING A SIGNAL INSTEAD OF LETTING IT COME TO ME

7:54 - need to wait for inds to complete setup and entry pattern before entry - premature buy entry -stopped out JOURNALLING SURE BRINGS THIS ALL HOME - feel kinda embarrassed right now - hard to write about

8:43 walked away for a bit and then came back - system gave me a sell pattern and signal at 8:43 - good entry and exited early for 3 tick profit - could have let it ride using my stop ind but just needed a win - I am aware that this is probably reinforcing my early exiting - an ineffective trading habit for me - it is now 6 minutes from my entry and had I used my stops I would have been stopped out for 8 ticks profit

9:45 - took buy on signal counter trend - can feel the panic of feeling I made a mistake again - stopped out for 6 tick loss - am seeing that my entries on counter trend trades need improvement - will hold on ct trades until I examine this and redefine my pattern and entry criteria

1002 - waiting and watching for possible setup - the value of watching and waiting is evident ...entered buy on good signal and price hit resist @ 1301.75 - quickly reversed on me and got stopped out los = 4 ticks - glad I had my stop in place - there was a time when I didn't use them - whew - bad memories

1030 after a morning like this I have often searched for new inds but the system I have works very well if I let it work and work with it - so no new inds or new chart types ( I use 3000 share (entry), 9000 and 27000 share charts for bigger picture) (work with what is in front of me! a novel idea!!)

1033 - waiting and watching for sell setup and signal - price bouncing off support line - nearest support below around 1294.5, (overnight low) - about 4-5 points away - major cycle (27tsh chart) is moving down with trend (this is interesting to me - I am aware that in anticipating and waiting for a sell signal I may not see a buy signal emerge) (I find it hard to remember to trade what I see not what I think)

1043 - sell setup and signal emerged so quickly I got in late and exited for 3 ticks - would have been 6 ticks if entry had been better - got back in quickly to make up the difference - (this journal sure shows a lot of trading warts) - recognized mistake and exited with 1 tick loss
As I write this journal I am uncomfortably aware of how I woudl have benefitted for doing several years ago! Its all there in black and white for me to see.
How do you like that? It went to 1294.5 - overnight low - HOW MANY TIMES HAVE I IDENTIFIED A PROFIT TARGET AND CUT MYSELF OFF AS SOON AS I HAD A PROFIT AND WATCHED GO WHERE MY SYSTEM TELLS ME - DUH!

1109 - watched for setup and signal as trading trend reversed - took buy signal at 1109 and exited early for 3 ticks - target was 1300.50 or 12 ticks from entry - had I stayed in and moved stop up I would not have been stopped out until target reached (entered at 1297.50)

1120 - buy setup pattern emerging at significant resistance - pattern not confirmed and premature entry = stopped out very quickly for 8 tick loss (hard to admit to myself)
now waiting for real entry trigger to confirm - confirmed at 11:24 PST
re-entered on buy signal - target = 8 ticks at 1303.25 (stop was safely in place which if hit would have been 2 ticks
target hit for 8 ticks (NOW IF I COULD DO THAT 75% OF THE TIME, I would call myself a competent ES trader

1132 - missed buy setup/signal at 1132 (I was distracted by finally having made a successful 2 point trade!)
clear entry and price target (the prior day's close)
It is now 1145 PST and I am acutely aware of my trading so far. In about 45minutes I go to the office to see clients - I want to make back my losses of about $240 so far today. I know this feeling and it often creates problems for me as I get disappointed in myself and want to prove I can do this.
Later today I will reflect on the journal contents and identify some specific and reasonable goals for myself that will enable me to call myself a competent ES trader (perhaps I should define what I mean by that for myself too!)

1150 I see a possible trade setup emerging
sell at 1301.25 target 1300.25 - moved stop down as doji appeared at 1301.75 support line and took 1 tick
TO BIG MIKE - THANK YOU FOR THE ENCOUIRAGEMENT ABOUT JOURNALLING - ALWAYS KNEW IT WOULD HELP BUT ALSO NEEDED CATALYST TO DO IT

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  #3 (permalink)
California
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: FxTrade/Ninjatrader
Broker: Oanda/MBT
Trading: Eur/Usd
 
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Posts: 269 since Jan 2011
Thanks: 54 given, 151 received


Congrats on starting the journal. I'm sure your journal will be as big a help to you and mine has been for me. Look forward to watching you progress.

Oh, of course it's your journal so it's your choice, but to encourage people to read through it and comment maybe separate the timed entries. Just to make it easier on the eyes. Again, your journal so your rules! heh. Just thought I'd throw it out there.

Take care.

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  #4 (permalink)
Site Administrator
Manta, Ecuador
 
Experience: Advanced
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Posts: 49,050 since Jun 2009
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Congrats on your journal!

Remember to post at least one chart a day showing your trades so you are eligible to win the free iPad / $600 tablet.

Looking forward to your posts...

Mike

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  #5 (permalink)
Seattle Washington
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradeStation
Trading: ES
 
Posts: 52 since Jan 2011
Thanks: 52 given, 35 received

Trading journal 2-25-11
Competence - having sufficient skill, knowledge and experience for some purpose Trading skills - focus, discipline, patience, the ability to act Trading knowledge - basic tech analysis, knowledge of function of indicators I use, trend analysis, trade entry and management, defined trading system, probability theory Trading experience - chart/screen time with real money to know how emotions are aroused and how influential they are in trading Purpose - to apply skills and knowledge to gain experience profitability applying a high-probability trading system
So my chart review last night left me with two questions: What was I doing when I made the several trading mistakes on 2/24?
Today, I intend to focus on my physical sensations and keep a separate log of them as I trade the system setups. I am aware that my conditioned responses are in my body and by paying attention to them I believe I can redirect myself to my system criteria instead of going into the "trance of anxiety" that I have created for myself.

6: 33 first trade not taken - too distracted - not ready my frame of mind is distracted this am - my body feels scattered - need to walk around and get centered



6:54 - b at 1313.50 - x 1314 - early exit again 2 tick profit - target was 4 ticks - up against R


6:58 - clear buy signal which I doubted - sweet move up that system caught and I missed


7:33 - my body is finally calming down from the frantic sensations


7:35 - b at 1316 exited for 1 tick P as got anxious about R line - it did hit my intended PT - using my stops would have kept me in trade longer to hit 2nd target for 5 ticks

OKAY - first hour 2 Prof trades for 3 ticks - did not take 3 clear trades signals; noticed how well my stops work - I would benefit from trusting them

7:50 ahhh- just observed something about myself that I have done hundreds of times (and it seldom works out well) - I turned my head away to look at my emails for about 2 minutes - came back to trading screen and saw a buy "signal" without really looking at it for R - jumped in quickly then recognized what I had done - exited at breakeven - THIS PATTERN HAS COST ME A LOT OVER THE YEARS - it would benefit me to look before I leap

7:50 ahhh- just observed something about myself that I have done hundreds of times (and it seldom works out well) - I turned my head away to look at my emails for about 2 minutes - came back to trading screen and saw a buy "signal" without really looking at it for R - jumped in quickly then recognized what I had done - exited at breakeven - THIS PATTERN HAS COST ME A LOT OVER THE YEARS - it would benefit me to look before I leap


8:15 buy signal taken entry @ 1317.25 - price up against 1st hr high resistance - stop in place - expect retracement - as ret happens I am anxious - entering at a key resistance (R line) is risky and price is close to stopping out my position - stopped put for 6 tick loss at 1315.75 - lesson learned - RESPECT RESISTANCE THAT NOT BEEN PENETRATED BY 3 ATTEMPTS
so my buy signal turned into a sell signal - I have also seen this many times
I am marking trades I did not take with 1 arrow - after the loss I note how distracted I am - I look at the charts but its as if I can't get my hand to enter the trade so I just mark the opportunity


9:15 - buy on cycle pullback at 1315. 75 - exited for 1 tick profit with Rline at 1316.50 - once again I could have let it run with my stops and had a different outcome - target was 1317 and I exited at 1316


1009 - buy entry on trend based cycle low at 1317.75 - rline at 1318 - larger cycle supports n entry - target = 1319.25 exited at 1318.75 at cycle top - profit = 4 ticks - it did however hit my original target


1104 - buy at 1318.75 target 1319.50 -(Rline) - hit target and out

1125 - buy setup at triple top but no signal to enter ( I am learning)
(thinking about and looking forward to golfing this afternoon - ground is somewhat frozen and the ball gets a good bounce)

1132 - making another run at the top - similar buy setup - let it go - I am profitable for the day so far ( $50) but better than yesterday and I learned a lot through the journal
I see a range bound top formation from about 1015 pst to now so I will wait for the market to tip its hand in terms of direction (this is new behavior for me as I often think I know what will happen and get spanked accordingly)

1200 inds are saying one more try as it coils - wait and see -

1211 entered at 1319.25 on major cycle bottom with buy signal - it is bumping up against Rline at top - support at 1318.25 - my stop - pullback may hit my stop - this is a high risk trade at end of trading day - if pullback does not take me out, it may have strength to break out to new day high
voila - I am stopped out for 4 tick loss (this when I go into thinking it will now turn up without me and tell myself "Yup - there it goes, should had a lower stop or moved it down (been there and done that and it does not work)

1225 - let see what happens - double bottom forming at support (1st hour high) - getting bounce off S line
getting some convergence
range bound top for almost 2 hours since 10103 or so
I am very aware of how much I want to get in to get in anticipating a move even without a signal!!!
I am getting experience waiting and watching (experience which I need to develop and strengthen)

1245 - Buy on signal at 1318.50 (end of day trade) - target 1319.50 risk = 4 ticks
moving up my target and stop - pullback turning up in dir of trade - risk now 3 ticks
momentum turning up
in view of time and dojis at I took myself for 1 tick profit
I plan to have great weekend of play, good food and great wine! to celebrate my journalizing and all that I have learned in 2 days. I will also be reviewing my charts and notes for I definitely see some major trading patterns that are hindering my competence and proficiency as a trader.
I will also be creating specific goals for the month of March.
I broke even today and the journal experience and posting was extremely valuable to me. I look forward to next week and improving trading skills.



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  #6 (permalink)
Seattle Washington
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradeStation
Trading: ES
 
Posts: 52 since Jan 2011
Thanks: 52 given, 35 received

Charts from 2-25

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  #7 (permalink)
Site Administrator
Manta, Ecuador
 
Experience: Advanced
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Trading: Emini Futures
 
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Posts: 49,050 since Jun 2009
Thanks: 31,658 given, 94,916 received


mindfultrader View Post
Charts from 2-25

Please don't create a new thread for this, you should just reply to your existing thread:



I've copied your post to that thread and deleted the extra thread.

Mike

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  #8 (permalink)
Seattle Washington
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradeStation
Trading: ES
 
Posts: 52 since Jan 2011
Thanks: 52 given, 35 received

Trading log 2-28
Spent some of the weekend reviewing the charts and also exploring MBT site and learned a lot - ant thread I read spoke about major S/R lines and I could see where I have been entering at S/R lines that go against my entry. Great thread referring to a website called ytc.com, your trading coach. AS I studied charts this weekend I noticed the significance of the S/R lines - I will make more use of S/R lines.
Structure and trading trend are up on the ES as it opens
Clear signal just after open - not ready to take it - there is usually one clear sig within 10 minutes of open and I have not taken it -
650 Using R line avoided taking losing trade

715 did not enter buy on double bot as watching for sell

730 entered b on small ret stopped out for 4 tick loss

740 entered buy prematurely and stopped out for 4 tick loss - getting emotional and taking a break
(have my 20 yr old son sitting with me today and watching)

maybe that is why I am so off

another mistake - right now I emotionally want to stop doing this journal and thoughtfully know that this will benefit my trading - just damn hard to look at, let alone put out there
one of the posts yesterday made a great point the diff between trading what you see and what you think with great l pics that are usual tricks (maybe I could benefit from more thinking?) feel confused right now
- break time

reading other journals and it helps to reduce the frustration with today's 3 losing trades.
So I am wondering HOW MANY OTHER TRADERS HAVE FELT LIKE THEY WANT TO RUN FROM THIS JOURNALING PROCESS. IT'S LIKE IT'S ALL RIGHT THERE FOR ME TO SEE - I KNOW AND TRUST IT WILL BENEFIT ME BUT IN THE MEANTIME IT IS REALLY UNCOMFORTABLE!

930 t0 1115 - watching - placed two trades that yielded 2 ticks leaving soon for office so I may end the day with a 10 tick loss
made some grave errors that I will need to review tonight - not a system problem it looks like repeat of 2-24 errors - I will look at this closely tonight

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  #9 (permalink)
Seattle Washington
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradeStation
Trading: ES
 
Posts: 52 since Jan 2011
Thanks: 52 given, 35 received

Its about 9 PM PST and I have been exploring the futures.io (formerly BMT) website and the posts of so many traders. I have also been looking at my trading morning and journal page. I came away with the awareness that I have been treating this whole process of trading in an almost cavalier way - I could figure it out - and after several the years I can acknowledge that I haven't and probably won't. My attempts to find a way to catch every twist and turn, every up and down, have been just that.

Admittedly I want to study price action, any area that I have given l lip service to as I have focused on finding the "right inidcator".

More than that however, I am getting a clearer sense of my fantasies about trading and the down-to-earth hard work of focus and disciplne that it really is.

With that, I will engage more tomorrow.

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  #10 (permalink)
Seattle Washington
 
Experience: Intermediate
Platform: TradeStation
Trading: ES
 
Posts: 52 since Jan 2011
Thanks: 52 given, 35 received


Its 5:30 Am PST - and am looking back at serveral setups and the price action associated with them. Got some helpful insights from reading several old posts related that topic. The wicks on the candles tell an interesting story at pivotal turnign points _ I am curious about that story and how it relates to teh dircetion that price moves afetrwards. A spike at a top and a tail at a bottom are 2 patterns I had not really identified but voilaI believe they are telling me something to pay attention which I will do do today.

Market opens in an about 45 minutes - time to stretch, make a latte and prep charts.

6:40 Oops - took a countertrend buy trade that did not work out - exit with 5 tick loss ( as I review I am aware that the truth is I just wanted to get in!)

700 - and I feel numb - beating myself up for that first dumb trade and watching as the next 2 signals go by - I've done this very thing countless times and here I am recording it

I am going to trade sim for the rest of the day - 2 more losses and this hurts right now - total loss $340 - my acct can stand it but i can't - absolutely foolish errors

704 - I entered a buy (no signal) and I don't even want to write about it - too dumb - 6 tick loss

That's twice in 35 minutes - This is a pattern for me - when the market is in a definite trend I am looking for countertrend trades, not what I should be doing which is watching for trend-based trades. (its down and I want to find buys- its up and I want to find sells)- I could relax and wait for the market to give me opportunity

Well, at least my trading system works well and gives me good clear signals
took one more trade and it failed - 3 ticks- then took a trend-based signal and it worked out - although I got out very early just to capture some profits -at least with a journal there is no place to run or hide like in the past

Almost did it again - entering countertrend to make maybe 3 ticks and risking 6 ticks to do it - recognized the impulse in me to act and stopped to think about what I was thinking - not much thinking actually
Notice a strange belief I have - that one of the retracement-based sell signals is false and the market will turn around and stop me out - I am second-guessing the market and my system and try to beat it to the punch - that is uncomfortable to acknowledge to myself - somewhere during my trading life I learned that belief -
my fear of selling a bottom and buying a top may be causing me to sell a bottom and buy a top

1030 - about 45 minutes ago I started using sim as I made some major blunders and am done $340 - acct can take it but i can't - not gong back to drawbaords a sI sually do - this is not a system issue - it is a me as trader issue (I think scorp said it well in his post yesterday)

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May 16, 2011


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