Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Starting to Update New Blog Again - Wed 1 25 12

I'm updating my blog again. Yes, still trading, but it feels a lot different after so many revelations and lessons and changes in myself.... New Blog

Monday, May 23, 2011

New Blog Old Blog Remains

I stopped trading futures for half a year. I started trading futures again, different broker, platform, and contracts. Slightly different methods also, so that's why I'm starting a new blog....

Friday, April 9, 2010

Rangebound Today; Nice Gain Yesterday.

I committed to this trade. Not sure if I could've done this with real money. I widened the stop to exactly where I would be convinced that this would be a short. I was convinced that this was bullish and I set it and let it go.

The target was a little more than the stop amount, so basically the target was the depth of the base, which is about the only technical area I could come up with.

I saw it as a bullish cup and handle with very bullish internals, especially the TRIN dropping significantly from the bearish to bullish area.

Then it flattened out and I walked 5 miles to go pay a bill. When I returned I missed nothing.

Been very busy searching for an old check for taxes so I haven't been posting as regularly but will return soon.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Countertrend Trading Fighting Market Internals

This much gain in a countertrend trade fighting the market internals should be taken. The internals by this point should be supporting this trade but they really aren't and this is still in an uptrend, so this should have been exited and considered a scalp. I didn't and it moved up to stop out that was even wider than shown here because I widened it to over the prior bar, bad move.

With six ticks of gain, I should have at least moved stop to break even.

It's funny how real this all feels even tho it is the simulated account. I've been trading live for so long that I take this seriously and forget it's sim, which actually helps the process.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Range Breakout Attempt Failed

No, you can't break out of this range, this time.

60 minute chart of NQ. 60m reversal bar pair.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I Think I learned Today

There's nothing like sim trading to let yourself make mistakes and learn from them without the influence of real money.

Real live trading and real money is not the way to learn.

We learn from our mistakes, the saying goes.

Do you want to pay for every lesson in hard dollars? I sure did for 18 months and I'm really not as far along in the process as one would expect.

There are loads of additional and impeding thoughts and emotions that go with real money loss and gain that complicate the purity of the lesson.

Today I can say, I impulse traded because I thought I saw a setup, but then while in the trade I realized that if I had just spent a few moments to analyze the situation in the way that I already know how to do, I would not be seeing red and losing here. But I can also say, hey, don't do that. Kill this trade, and move on.

Now what if there was real money involved? I would definitely not be so purely analytical about the lesson because I would now also have additional thoughts and feelings around this simple lesson. I might not even get to the lesson at all. I might not learn anything.

I might feel guilt, loss, grief, depression, anger, frustration, fear, greed, need, shock, despair, doom, having to cover the loss, paying, reloading account maybe, telling someone about it, and on and on and on and on. I guess you can say I've been there.

Today I have nothing but lessons. Here is a post by Dr. Brett regarding learning:

Awesome End of Day Drop

Wow. Did you see this? It is a fantastic drop with plenty of time to enter short and two great 5 minute reversal bar pairs. Then a close on low bar and bang bang bang. All the way down. Ouch.

I think I must have been busy blogging.

What a day.

Gain Final Trade of Day - Very Good Call

I liked the handle on the cup & handle formation there, but it was going very slow.

I had a snack. I sat down and saw that there was a break under prior 2 five minute bar lows and it formed a bottoming tail bar with a close on high. Entered long there and managed it well.

Saw that ES was at resistance and was potentially forming a double top.

Monitored internals and they were ok, had some decent gain so I advanced my stop to break even plus one.

Not happy when I was one tick away from stop because of severe pullback. So I decided then and there that I would exit on the next push. So I tightened up my target stop and it hit.

I was out and it was pretty accurate as price reversed there and then made a lower high and another nice reversal pair and dropped severely in the final half hour.

Exit Was An Entry

Looking back at the prior trade, I see that there was a very nice bull flag and my mistakenly early entry was lucky to be pulled up and out. However, there was a small bar that closed on it's high and indicated an entry if there hadn't been one earlier on the bull flag.

Used Al Brooks H2 But Incorrectly

So I was thinking that I would take H2 here. Great idea, only it wasn't H2, it was H3. And taking H3 long is a bad idea since Al Brooks theory states that after a failed H2, everyone expects two legs down. Great.

So in this trade I was thinking how internals were only falling very mildly. Price was holding up ok. I was so near to stop out I decided to try and manage my way out of this. Then some internals dipped and price did not. I then widened my stop to under support rather than at it.

Then NYSE TICK dipped and price did not indicating some bullish strength.

Then to fix my inability to find highs, I placed a line on close for NQH10 on top of my NQH10 candle chart to drill home into my head where the darn highs actually are.

This helped because I also noticed that two legs down happened after the H2 failure. So like magic price held on and started looking bullish.

Price then popped up out of this range and I exited with gain on a new TICK high.

Not the best exit considering this is a trending day and I'm still exiting thinking 'range' in my head. Price continued up a lot and that shows I wasn't paying attention.

I was more concerned with the thought of my gain rather than the market telling me that it was ready to continue trending here. ** common error.

Note To Self - Do Not Scalp

Scalp is an excuse for me to drop my discipline and gamble because it is a tighter stop and target. Always a loss for me.

Problem here is that NQ is doing it's normal thing of moving around more than ES.

Here ES is firmly entrenched at the top area and not breaking over it.

NQ is dancing around like usual and broke out over this top.

Going long here is not good because the pull back wasn't a moderately stepping down with bullish power, it was a chop right down reversal from the prior high. That's bearish and too much of a strong pullback to be entering long at that point.

Error; should not have traded there.

More Loses At Same Point As Earlier Post

Here's more detail into prior loss and 2 more after that.

I was too eager to trade (sim) and make up my sim gains so that I can trade live again. Well, it doesn't matter what the reason is, if it isn't based firmly on the facts of the market formations, then I will lose.

There was fantastic opportunity here in these rare trend follow thru formations and setups. I blew them all.

If I am going to trade live, I will have to make sure I don't repeat this kind of garbage trading.

Impulse Trade - Not Enough Time In Analysis

This was a mistake. My thoughts at entry were to jump in on this pullback in the downtrend. But there was a really strong bottom formation with BT bar testing the low for a double bottom and also a reversal bar that passed the prior low and reacted sharply up on that bar.

NYSE TICK also was divergent there and it was also making higher lows and there was a strong support point right at my entry short for an additional double bottom confirming the trend change and this is also a bull flag at that point.

This was a pause for the new trend direction to be continued. Big mistake.

Gap Fill At Open With a Small Gain

Gap fill long at open. Used old method of advancing stop to plus 3 ticks over break even. Not a good idea in this volatile open especially when I am very convinced of the NASDAQ 100 futures contract price rising to fill the gap.

I ended up getting only the stop advance when NQM10 rose up to fill gap solidly.

Included the NASDAQ 100 futures contract tick chart here as well to show the volatility and how the price made 3 really solid attempts to fill the gap each making higher lows and higher highs before pulling back. Very nice moves, very poor management on my part.

See later posts for a good exit I just made.

Faded Base Breakout On ES Double Top & NYSE TICK Weakness

The title says it all.

I saw ES had a double top.

NYSE TICK was pulling back and was making much lower highs than on the prior push where price didn't move nearly as far, creating a massive divergence.

Shorted this with stop loss set over prior bar.

Don't Fade Incomplete Bar

I attempted to fade this tall bar, but it wasn't complete. It's a 5m breakout of a base that doesn't have internals supporting it at the end of the day.

I got stopped and then decided to try it again.

See next post for the much better timed trade.

This was too low odds, but I did keep a very tight stop, but over all a mistake.

Range Trade Wrong For Trend

I'm so used to getting burned on my trend trades when market isn't trending and since I recently had some successful sim trades fading trend trades in a ranging market, that I made the mistake here of fading the trend. Oops. But I realized this and killed it.

I Love Sim Trading

I was able to work out a lot of things and renew lessons on impulse trading and how that feels and why it's so bad. Taking sim seriously is so good to do, I feel the same way as live trading and then have to remind myself it's sim and I feel relieved. I made adjustments and learned stuff and really looking forward to massive sim gains and then at some point reload account. This is gonna be good.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I think I may have finally seen a good example in the market of Don Miller's concept of, 'morning after trend day,' MATD.

I don't know if it is true that there have been fewer trending days lately, but it seems like it to my limited experience in the market. It may just be that I am more observant of trend vs range than I was earlier.

Monday trended, I was surprised. Today opened with a gap up and it looked like a strong trending day was going to continue yesterday's trend day. But seriously, how often does that happen?

So Don has a theory that often, the day after a trend day has traders psyched up for more trending. There is an attempt made to trend that fails and is able to be faded.

It looks to me that this is what we have here. This chart is NQ 5m and the nice bullish pullback that continued up sure was a strong bullish move and then ouch. A continuation that failed with a long legged doji and it looked, at the time, that bulls could be pissed off by that. Looking back, it seems they were and the gap was closed by a ten point drop from the top.

Don is away for a week, I wanted to ask him if this is what he means, but I am certain enough that I can post this. If it weren't for the flooding over here I would have sim traded this with a short under the bar that closed on it's low. OTOH, it is at support in an uptrend, so you would have to really believe in MATD if you were going to counter trend trade this baby.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Sim Trade Gains & Loses

I sim traded a lot, and made some mistakes, but learned from them. Net loss on the day, but the mistakes I made were more experimental and I worked some things out with them. I have a hundred screen caps and notes from today.

In summary, I observed the problem with wide stops, taking trades when the current direction is weakening, not taking gains when they are looking realistically like the leg will now pivot, waiting for more - greed, and ending up with a stop loss.

The good moves were, excellently judging internals pushing while price is resisting and the end result being follow thru to the downside on my short TR7. Other good was realizing that the minor break on weakness seen by top tails was not going to continue, killing it before large stop loss, and reversing the position for a gain. TR5 & 6.

TR3 was good. TR2 was a very quick move that I took and as soon as I did, I realized that I was reacting exactly as those few who were driving price down on high emotion, I reacted fast and shorted as I saw the reversal up fail to downside, but this was a very tall bar and price was down at support and these bars were tall and volatile and I immediately knew that this was a trap, and I got trapped and took it and rode it and felt what it was like to be one of these traders. It is good and safe to do this when doing serious simulation like this.