Keep Calm and Don't Move Your Stops.....

A little risk management saves a lot of fan cleaning!

The Purpose of Life is Joy!!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

No Bull Shit Zone

No real trades this week so far. I tried a couple yesterday prior to inventory that scratched out and one after inventory that scratched out. The bull shitters seem to be out in force this week although to be fair, they always are. Maybe I just notice it more now. I've actually been waiting for this price action the last few days but never found a way to be on board without significant risk. Maybe I don't know how to do that but rather than gamble, I'd rather just wait until the risk is both reasonable and readily observable. Neither of these seemed to be the case so this week. On the other hand, today is setting up to perhaps see a nice long break to the upside tomorrow. If the day closes without making a significant move either way, it will close green setting up a decent long signal on the daily chart. I hope to participate in that tomorrow.

On another note, I need to vent just a bit about a non trading thing. My kiddo is 15, she doesn't drive and she is a freshman in high school this year. She also made the cheer team. This means LOTS of work. Two hours a day practice, junior varsity games on Thursday, varsity games on Friday's, fundraisers every month, one or two Saturdays a month choreography and the list goes on....all this is fine, we signed up for that but what we didn't know was the head coach has an 8-5 job and coaches cheer in the evening. This means we pick our kid up at 2:45PM, go home for 90 minutes and then return to the school at 5:30-7:30 5 nights a week except on Thursdays and Friday's where she will probably get home around 10:00 after the games. She is expected to maintain good grades, be involved in other school activities plus whatever family obligations we might have.

The issue is the practice start time. The school just gave the finger to dozens of parents because the coach is a lawyer that won't change her schedule to better accommodate all these parents, many of whom have at least one job and sometimes two. I spoke to the coach and the athletic director and they both essentially gave me the finger. There was no communication about how difficult the schedule was going to be BEFORE we signed the contract to make it to all the practices, games and other events. We knew there would be lots of work but we honestly felt like we got rear ended and then to just be blown off like we were today made me realize how other parents we have know over the years who have been upset with their kid's school feel. I've always blamed the parents for being poor sports or just being assholes about it but now I understand. Its as though the school doesn't give a damn about the parents. They just want the kids on the property for as long as possible. I'm about read to have a coronary over this....and its really not that big a deal. I am more pissed over the attitude than I am over the actual issue. A for profit company would never get away with something like this. There would be blood in street.

All that said, we are leaving the decision to stay or leave the team up to our daughter. It's time for her to begin making bigger decisions that affect her future. We will walk with her through it and guide her through the pros and cons but its gonna end up being her decision. If she decides to stick with it, then there will be a ton of work to maintain grades which come first. We will do all we can to enable her to balance the load and if she decides to focus on school work and quit the team, we will do all we can to ensure her decision isn't regretted later. High school is supposed to be fun and we want to make sure she has her fair share during these next four years. Grades are important for the future (kinda) whereas cheer is not a marketable skill except in the narrowest of situations.

Back to trading.

I have a long trade on right now with minimum size. I am not convinced yet and so I am waiting for a bit more price action in my favor before adding size. So far its just sitting there going on ten minutes. It is showing some signs of heading up but still to soon to know....with the narrow ranges, the targets are fairly small, not sure if the reward is worth the risk in all honesty. This will be my second trade of the day. Both longs. I bought 46.49 early on and only took about 10-15 ticks. Of course its gone much further than that but at the time, that is what I saw as resistance to further upside. But if the day is long and it appears that it will finish that way, then the right choice would have been to hold all day. I didn't have that kind of time so I took what appeared to be the right target. I'm doing the same right now. Smallish target inside yesterday's 50% level. If it gets there that is. I think it will, that would be about the right level for a break out tomorrow.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

weekly update

This was an interesting week from a variety of standpoints. I finished up 4% after friday's trading, no charts as I didn't take any pics. However I learned a few things about myself and my trading which I noted in the blog and won't repeat here and a ton of other stuff happened as well.


My wife had a minor wrist surgery on Thursday.

I had an eye doc appointment on Friday morning.

My daughter made the high school cheer squad as a freshman (but I think everyone that tied out made it as well so not sure if this is a big deal or not) Still, she's both nervous and excited.

I had a fairly major angina attack. It hurt like heck and lasted for about 3 hours and I didn't have any nitro with me. Not fun at all.

My total weight loss for the 30 days I've been doing intermittent fasting as of this morning is 13.2 pounds. Last week I had 2 cheat days where I had a small coke and yesterday I had two pieces of pizza with maybe three swallows of coke to wash it down. I still lost a total of 2 pounds last week bringing my 30 day total to 13.2

I'm not keto yet. I never tried actually although I think I will at some point, but I have gotten rid of 99.9% of the sugar or at least extra sugar, 99.9% of the bread, rice, pasta, potatoes, etc along with reducing my portion size to probably half of what I used to eat.

I feel TONS better already, the brain fog is gone, my low blood sugar issue is no longer an issue, I can fast for 16-17 hours without unpleasant side affects ( not true the first 3-4 days) I have more energy that is sustained throughout the day. Frankly I am stunned at how well this has worked with almost no effort on my part. And to top it all off, last week I actually had the desire to work out. I have intellectually made the decision to work out in the past but I never wanted to but this week I wanted to and so I did. Of course I regretted it almost instantly as it was not easy but just like anything else, it will get easier as time goes by. I have no intention of becoming Mr Olympia, I just want to be healthy and fit again.

This feels sustainable unlike anything else I've ever done and that is what I was ultimately looking for, easy sustainability.

On a different note, I am looking for a new laptop. I want a 13 inch ultra book with a very small footprint and very lightweight and I'm having a terrible time deciding between machines. Anyone with any experience that would share with me? Just email me your ideas or suggestions. use the form at the side of the blog. It will go straight to me.

Ok, time to move on to other things this morning. Cheers.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

-1%

Today was interesting to say the least. I didn't do much. I shorted the near the very top and unlike yesterday when I was confident in the short, today I had some fairly serious doubts about the validity of the short. Turns out that was completely wrong headed. Instead, I chose the obvious place to be long (with a bit of confirmation) and got run over for a full 1% stop out and done for the day.

As you can see from the pics I figured out it was short AFTER I got ran over only because I didn't do the work ahead of time to fully appreciate the strength of the resistance. Had I done that, I would have had more confidence in the short and added to it as time went by instead of placing my take profit order so darn close. In the end though, it just goes to show you have to do the work if you plan on making money.

On a side note, I left the house immediately after getting run over. My wife had a minor wrist surgery today to remove a cyst that came back after having the same procedure done a year ago. Doc said it would not come back a third time. So I am entertaining my wife for the next 7 days as she recovers. She's left handed and the surgery was on the left hand so this means I'm also the cook/cleaner/driver/etc as well. Should be fun!!

Cheers.



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

+1% and an emotional shit storm

Today is one of the most enlightening and interesting days I've ever had as a trader. Lets start by saying that I had a very nice counter trend trade today that I played very intelligently, very calmly executed almost to perfection. It was a nice winner as well. So why the emotional shit storm you ask?

Its like this. Looking at the charts, I had my entry levels off the profile, I scaled into the trade at each level with my overall risk mostly in line. To be fair, through the early part of the trade, there was slightly to much risk in terms of ticks but not excessively. I was comfortable with it because as it moved against me, the pace of the tape was quite slow with no aggressive buying at all. At no time did my dollar risk ever get past 1%. 

As the tape moved in my favor, I knew my profit targets were realistic and probable. The only question was how long. I sat in this trade for about 2 1/2 hours. Something I have NEVER done before. Did I mention I hate counter trend trades? They take way to long in my opinion. However once the risk was out of the trade, I just forgot about it and let it play out into inventory. Just before inventory, I moved my stop to break even just in case it went against me with some violence. No need to take the stop plus any slippage. However, the trade was good and the inventory number filled my first two targets instantly. The runner wasn't really a runner, it was just a stretch number that I thought might get hit as well with the number. But no, it stopped a few ticks short, went back up and I exited the last position at BE+5 I think. I did move 2/3rds of the position up to aproximately the 50% level prior to inventory but this is not noted on the charts. 

At that point, I was up over 1% having just executed a near perfect trade and yet I was left with a huge empty spot in my soul where normally I would have been fist pumping at having just scored a great win. The issue was this. The trade did not play out EXACTLY the way I thought it should and left me with less than I could have had with a full exit at the first target. To make matters worse, as I was marking my charts, price reversed and plunged right back down to where my stretch target had been. I think the whole thing took 3 minutes. So now instead of just being emotionally unsatisfied, I was just pissed about the whole thing. Seriously, I just made 1% and I'm upset? This should not be and yet I recognize this emotional dissatisfaction with a perfect trade is a very real aspect of trading. There is always a disconnect between taking what is offered at the moment and not seeing the future rewards or losses if you follow a different path. 

I suppose this is something all successful traders experience. The thrill of winning but not winning big enough based on what happened after the trade is closed. Leaving money on the table. In sports, you win or lose. If you win, even by one run or one point, you celebrate the win. If you lose, even by one point, you still lost. Shake it off and play again tomorrow. In trading, if you win, it could have been MUCH bigger or if you lose, you could have cut the losses much sooner. It's a no win situation and if one is to be a long term success in this business, one must come to terms with this feeling and enjoy the satisfaction of following a well thought out process even if it doesn't work or if it yields much more than you actually achieved. The joy is in the process. The score is not the score. The score is just the result of the process. The process is the win. 

Ok, here are the charts from beginning to end. Well there aren't any where the trade is firmly in profit because I was taking my daughter to school during that time. 








Tuesday, August 8, 2017

+2%

Execution was ass backwards but the result was exactly (more or less) what I wanted. The more was that price did exactly what I thought it might do, the less was I scaled out of the position a bit early. It ended up a 2% day but could woulda shoulda been a 3.7% day.

A huge difference maker for me today was the stop, Instead of trying to keep it tight, I sized way down, opened the stop way up, and scaled into the  trade as price moved against me. The correct way would have been to wait for the second entry to be the first, the third to have been the second and the first to have been the third and last entry and then held the whole thing to T3. Instead I went in backward and scaled out to soon. Still I am happy with the overall result.

Single chart today....take a look at your 5M chart for the exact particulars.


Monday, August 7, 2017

+1%

Last week was mostly a scratch week. I fell into the trap of trying to manufacture trades again. I realized my trade selection criteria is not very robust so on the advice of a friend, I implemented a higher time frame analysis using weekly and daily profile charts. I further implemented some rules about risk management having to do with trade count, daily, weekly and monthly draw down limits as well as the per trade risk.

This led to a more robust trade selection process this morning, or at least a more robust initial trade selection. Those details later.

My overall premise was sound, my execution was lacking because I ran out of patience with the initial sequence and I foolishly reversed my position because during the selection process, I made a case for both longs and shorts. The longs were not working as fast as I thought they should and so reversed into a short position only to realize the mistake shortly thereafter and reversed again, taking losses on both reverses.

However, keeping the risk in line with the above mentioned parameters allowed me to take the losers and add very quickly to the winner and overcome those losses and end up with a 1% win for the day. Oddly enough, the short case I laid out also worked well but I was long gone by that time. I had an early morning meeting and had to go.

A big thumbs up for the profit, a big thumbs down for the execution. Sometimes it works out like that. The goal is to minimize the size of the inevitable mistakes and maximize the size of the winners when you get it right. I may have gotten the selection process all screwed up as well. Maybe I should have been waiting on the short that happened after I was done. Small risk there with bigger reward....who knows. I made money following a step by step process and that is what counts.





Friday, July 28, 2017

Weekly Update

No trades yesterday as I went to Phoenix early in the day to get steroid injections in my back at  specialist there. They hurt like hell for about 2 seconds and then they are magic shots. Good for about 4-6 months. Anyway, 10 total hours over and back.

Today two trades on NQ both longs. Both stopped to the tick before the reversal to my intended target zones. Then out the door to attend to a couple of family items and now back to the machine to grind out the lost hours from yesterday on the day job.

My daughters 15th birthday is tomorrow so lots going on there today and tomorrow so a busy weekend ahead. She starts school Thursday next week and we still have a couple of things to do to get ready for that so will have a few hours next week devoted to her and her school.

On a side note, I did 8 of the 10 hours yesterday in silence just thinking, zoning out and otherwise enjoying a very prolonged time away from the deluge of noise that invades our every waking minute. What an incredible thing it was. It's been a long time since I did anything like that and I might do it again in a month or so.

One of the side benefits of quiet time is your subconscious has time to work with out more input and the last two hours a business idea popped into my head and I thought about that from 4:30 when I was on the road until midnight when I finally was able to clear my mind from the idea long enough to fall asleep. Its unrelated to trading which is good and its about something I have had a life long passion about. More later if and when I decide to get it off the ground which won't be until after this project is over. It will require a number of hours thinking and planning through some fairly detail items but once done will involve a physical product as well as intellectual property. Who knows where things like this lead.

Cheers every one, have a great weekend.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

CL & NQ

I have about an hour between now and when I have to be back at it. Thought I'd post a short update.

I'm making money, slower than I want but it is steady. Funny thing is, I am trading both CL and NQ. I ran the numbers today. The profit is coming from CL. NQ has been choppy during the cash hours but smooth and mostly pretty tradeable during the European session. I might have to reduce my exposure to NQ.

Today was another loser on NQ with a large winner on CL just after inventory. A long at around 42.45. Took it off as the selling came in near the top. A very pleasing trade today. I had a shot at getting in on the slow grind up after the spike down but I elected to not take it. The pace was slow and I wasn't in the mood.

Ok, time to relax for 45 minutes before hitting the grind again.

Cheers.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Quick update

It's been a week since my last post. I haven't really had time for posting and I don't today but I'm squeezing one in just because I want to and have about 5 minutes.

A few weeks go I had my best week ever. Then I had nothing but back and forth and then some draw down. Lots of frustration for me in this time period. I've been working 10-12 hours a day making decent money but honestly less than if I just followed my trading plan and rules like a boss. Still I'm grateful for it.

Late last week and this week, I've recovered most of the drawdown and very near new equity highs again. It's been a slow slog through and while I'm glad for the recovery, I wish it were faster. That said, I am approaching or at least it feels as though I am, a place of detachment concerning the outcome of each trade knowing that if I just do it long enough, the law of large numbers will work in my favor. I'm also trading less than before, 1-3 trades a day for the most part and I like that even better.

This project I'm working on appears to have some legs and so I'm going to milk it for as long and as much as I can. Who knows what the future holds.

Cheers.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Profitable but....

Tough day for trading....I managed a decent day overall but not because I was good....I think I got lucky mostly...Still I will take it.

No time for in depth discussion today....charts tell the story...two 100+ tick trades today on NQ possible...I got 80 out of 200 possible....oh well...




Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Sheesh X 2

I sat down at the computer just as both CL and NQ broke and ran up. No pull backs to get in on....had to let them both go. My heart was sick.

On CL, got long just after inventory. -1%. The subsequent collapse offered no reasonable place with acceptable risk to short even thought I knew it was going straight down. Again, had to let it go. Done with CL.

On NQ, kept seeing weakness at the premarket highs after the initial run up. The opening range high held and held. So I eventually sold it very near the ORH expecting a nice collapse similar to CL as we are near the top of the trend channel.Nope. Full stop out. -.50%. Shorted one more time, same result. -5%. full 1% loss today on NQ. Instead, it just started grinding up, essentially a full trend day with lots of sideways movement in between algo bursts higher. Wasn't around for the middle part of that but its just grinding away at the top of the daily trend channel.

All in all, a complete bust today.

No pics today....

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Sheesh....

Video says it all....

On a different note, I've started intermittent fasting along with some MCTs, ACV and a some other things to get some of the weight off. It's been two days, already lost 6.5 pounds. Its not painful (yet) and there is a ton of science to support the idea. I've never been able to fast due to low blood sugar issues but this works for me. Eat my last meal between 4:30-5:30 in the afternoon and eat my first meal around 9:30-10:30 in the morning. When I get up, some bullet proof coffee which I didn't think I would like but its very yummy, an ACV concoction 30 minutes before my first meal and presto, I'm fasting about 16 hours a day with no ill side effects. Its almost magic.

I know there is a lot more to learn and implement but for now its baby steps. I want to develop this habit and routine before adding the more complicated stuff.

Cheers.



Monday, July 10, 2017

Buy and Hold

Well I made money today...and I made a decent amount...1% I think...which is fine...BUT I totally screwed up the read and the execution. I should have just bought and held!

On NQ, I was short early and it was a nice trade, Had I held it to the LOD, I think I might have been done at that point. But I exited at Friday's POC which was a nice trade. However, I was really expecting it to go to Friday's HOD and then bounce which it did but not until after some crazy swings at the open. I actually bought Friday's HOD and POC level but I took it off at 20 ticks because I didn't believe it would launch up like it did. Afterall, price action was directly into over head resistance. I was unprepared for that. However, once it started showing strength, I bought it twice more, each time for only 20 ticks, again because I was unconvinced of the true strength of the upward move. To be fair, I still not really convinced it was real even at this late junction. So I made 80 ticks on NQ when there was 228 ticks to be had.

On CL, I bought and then closed it immediately, then bought it again on the test of the lows where it held a perfect fib 78.6pull back level. I bought it at the inside break level and of course closed it right away. I thought it was going down. Afterall, it had rejected at the Friday VAL low level which is what it was supposed to do in a down trend. So I resold it again at the VAL and again at Friday's POC, both losers. Then I wanted to buy it at the ORH which it often retests after breaking out, no fill and I then just walked away from CL after that.

So 80 ticks on NQ and - 20 ticks on CL for a net 20 ticks. Yes profitable today but seems like such a waste.

I think I overthought it. Instead of just going with the flow, I made assumptions about the firmness of VP levels when in fact, they are just that, levels subject to breakage. Price action and order flow at the levels are the key. I'm not proficient at that yet apparently.

Still I'm on a three day win streak. Haven't had that in a while.

Cheers.




Friday, July 7, 2017

One and probably done

Missed the break out because I wasn't convinced it was a break out right then. But I sold the LVN from yesterday and made 40 ticks on the fade.

Today I will be headed to California to my last Grandmother's viewing. Tomorrow is the funeral. We weren't close but in the last few years, we had gotten somewhat closer and she loved my daughter like crazy. She was 96 and told my brother a few weeks ago she had no intention of living this long! She was in her right mind right up until the day she passed. We went to see her a couple of weeks ago and as it turns out, she passed the next day. So nice to have that last opportunity to be with her.

Cheers.



EDIT:

Finally got this short set up. Took it and waited quite a while...but I got the 20 ticks I was looking for.


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Lunch money

Today is the first day back from a long weekend we spent in lovely San Diego. We went to Sea World, Korea Town, Little Italy, and the main event, a harbor cruise for the 4th of July fireworks show the City of San Diego puts on every year. It really is special and seeing it from the harbor on board one of the ships is quite nice.

I didn't even look at the charts while I was gone. A good break now and then is essential to good mental health and consequently, good trading.

I made a short video about my trades today and after a couple CL losses and a small loss on NQ, my winner made enough for a decent lunch for 3 in a great restaurant in San Diego. As an aside, don't go to the movies in Liberty Station. Pricey isn't the word for it. Robbery is more like it!!

Anyway, on to the video.


Thursday, June 29, 2017

Bye Bye Bye CL????

My love affair, if you can call it that with CL is slowly but far more rapidly most recently , fading away. The beautiful moves it used to make every morning are slowly becoming a thing of history. In its place at least for the moment (am I becoming a player?) is NQ, It moves more or less like CL of old, has a smaller tick value which leads to better risk control and once in a while, a lot more size potential!

Today I made my first official NQ trade. Yes I had a couple earlier in the week just to test the waters but today I made it my priority instead of CL. Of course, I got stop ran with a subsequent nose dive to the target! But instead of cussing it out like I have been in the past, I just laughed and let it go. I did try to get a fill at resistance but it missed printing me by one tick before hitting the target zone.

This trade was a potential 110 tick trade per contract and I would have been at max size had I not been stopped out. I went in small with the intention of sizing up rapidly if it went in my favor but it one ticked me in and reversed to the stop and then reversed to target. Nice....

All that said, that trade felt better than most of the CL trades I've taken in the last few months. I like the way the tape moves, I like the trendiness of it, etc. So I think I will work with NQ as my primary instrument at least until it begins acting different. I think I held on to the idea of CL way to long. I might even look at some of the other not so obvious instruments to see how they move. After all, I'm not supposed to marry the thing, just trade it and I've been married to CL for to long now. I mean, NQ has moved 150 ticks and CL has barely ground out 20 or so in the last hour....please....

Cheers.

Oh, here's a chart and a video




Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Mid week update...actually

Taking 5 minutes out to recap the last three days.

Trading well....5M charts and a tick chart on inventory days POST inventory number...

Being very deliberate I have booked 70 ticks per contract this week in both the CL and the NQ. There has been LOTS more money available. But within the context of my trading hours and limitations, I am quite pleased.

I used the tick chart today to get into CL on the long side just a bit early, waited it out, got long again and rode it for 40 ticks I think. No trades in NQ today even though there was opportunity, the cost for that opportunity was well beyond my comfort zone so no trades.

Net net, its been a good week so far.

I am working on my mind every day. I feel different. Something is different. The energy has changed even if only slightly but I can feel it and I like it.

Ok, back to the day job.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mid week update

Ok, its not mid week but its as close as I'm gonna get this week.

This project is sucking up time like a black hole. It pays really well so I'm not complaining but in a perfect world, I wouldn't need it. But I do and so we work with what we have! They pay by the hour with essentially no limits on the number of hours you can work in a week with a minimum of 40....so I've been banking a lot of them since the beginning of the project....I can't sustain this indefinitely but this phase of the project will likely be over end of this month. Once that's done, there is probably going to be a much longer aspect of the project with more focus on quality vs quantity which means it could last or months.

I traded Monday, Tuesday and yesterday. I can't really remember what happened the first two days, they seem like they were a lifetime ago but yesterday I made a bunch of money prior to inventory and gave it back after inventory. I'll try to do a weekly update on Saturday or Sunday.

Scalping works well when you can pay really close attention and not so well when your attention is divided as it was yesterday.

Today, no trading as I had no time this morning, I put the charts up on a secondary monitor which I never use and glanced at them from time to time but with a never ending flow of files to review and pass judgement on, I decided not to trade today.

My daughter hyper extended her elbow last week which appears to be a season ending injury before its even started. Shes got at least two weeks of rest which is going to make the summer camp impossible. She's still going but can only participate in activities that doesn't include putting pressure on her left arm. Doctors note and everything. She is pretty bummed out about it. Its a good life lesson in how to handle disappointment both for her and for us.

We ditched the cable tv that cost about $150 a month and replaced it with SlingTV and our existing Netflix and Amazon Prime memberships. New monthly cost of entertainment, $52.00. I'd say that is a good thing. My kiddo NEVER watches TV, I only watch sports which I get on SlingTV, my wife only watches old movies and British TV and she gets those on SlingTV, NetFlix and YouTube and we can get all the music we want for free on YouTube or Pandora so no need to pay for all those extra channels on cable. Can't believe we didn't do this a long time ago. I watched the baseball game today on SlingTV sitting in my daughter's doctors office . That was awesome!!

I'm seriously considering getting a standing desk or perhaps one of those risers that sit on top of your desk and allow you to raise your monitor and keyboard up and down as you like. They cost anywhere from $200 for  base model to around $500 for a higher end one. Has anyone had experience with these contraptions? If so, drop me a line and let me know how it has gone for you. I'm sick of sitting all day and I type better when I am standing anyway.

Last thing, I am also considering a flirtation with NQ. It moves similar to CL but doesn't seem to have as many stop runs. I've been watching it for a few days now albeit not that close due to trading CL and working at the same time but in time, I think CL may trade more like QM does now. As energy becomes more and more renewable based, oil is going to eventually find a price range of $25-40 a barrel and more than likely lose its liquidity. For instance, I could NOT get filled on a single lot the other day on a profit target. granted, my target was at the extreme of the range and it must have printed it at least 10-20 times without filling it. I punched out manually at that point but that's the worst experience with not getting a fill I've ever had in terms of watching it print my price a dozen or more times without a fill. So NQ looks attractive from a movement standpoint but I haven't traded it live in a really long time so not sure about fills and liquidity yet. If anyone has suggestions or ideas along these lines, let me know.

Ok, its getting late in the afternoon, I've been up since 3:30AM I think, I can't really remember and I have commitments tonight until about 9PM or so....long day and I'm already tired enough to sleep.

Cheers.




Friday, June 16, 2017

Charts

Two charts to show you.


The MP/VP chart...its messy but makes sense.....then the tick chart. I also have a daily minimized, a 120M, a 30M and a 5M stacked up on the right beside the tick chart. Those all have a single 89EMA on them.

The trading chart has an 89EMA, a 34 EMA and a multi EMA with 21 being the largest one of those....Charts were out of sync today against the  HTF but the 5M was in agreement with the tick chart and yesterday's VPOC and 50% level lined up and looked likely to be target areas. I went there twice with shorts....plus a bounce off the current day mid point and the current day Volume VAL. That trade worked as well.

Yesterday and Wednesday looked pretty similar in terms of how the trades were entered and exited. Nothing fancy, just getting in on the current dominate trend and taking bites where it appears most likely to work.

Interestingly enough, at least yesterday and today, Most of my trades were 2:1. I did not track it on Wednesday but I think it was more or less about the same. In that regard, I can win less than 50% of the time and still make money. Since I primarily like to risk $100 or less per contract per trade, when presented with risk of 5 ticks or less, I can trade larger size. This happened once today which was nice. So I risked $100 to make $200 once and $60 to make $100 twice. So that worked out to risking $220 to make $500. Just a bit better than a 2RR day!

If I am at the charts when all the time frames align, I might be able to to find 3 or 4:1 trades without having to wait as long for them to pay of as these did today. With a 5 tick risk (not going to see these all the time) and a 20 tick trade, I'm looking at 4:1 and that works for me. I can live with that.

I don't know if I am going to include charts all the time when I post but I've included them here for reference.

It's getting late and I'm feeling the effects of working almost around the clock this week. Tomorrow is sleep in day (til 7AM that is) some honey do's around the house, 3-4 hours of work and then perhaps a movie later in the day. On a side note, its supposed to 111 degrees tomorrow and 119 by Tuesday next week . That's 43.8 and 48.3 for those of you using Celsius! People say its not actually hell but you can see it from here!

Have a great weekend!







Do what works

Patience is the key....or at least its in the top three things you need to be successful as a trader.

The other two might the edge you have and sound money management.

Beyond these three things, there is only one command in trading.

Do what works.

That's it. Well maybe there's one more thing....Do what works FOR YOU. Ok, that's it.

Ed Sekoyta said a trader should only trade as system that works with their personality. This is, in part, a portion of what it means to get yer mind right. Stop trying to work something that doesn't work for you. Insanity right? Indeed.

As part of the deconstruction of my process and mental/emotional state, I've been reviewing past journals. Some really old one as well as some more recent ones. A couple of years ago, I went several months without a losing month. A few weeks ago I had my largest winning week ever. In January I didn't have losing day, a first for me. And there have been numerous other "winning streaks" along the way. They all have two things in common.

1. In each instance, I was scalping 10-20 ticks per trade depending on the daily ranges.
2. In each instance, I began looking for ways to further maximize the SIZE of the winning trades, whatever they were at the time.

Essentially I got greedy looking for more. More for me requires a set of traits and skills I do not have. I have the knowledge to trade for larger wins but the emotional traits are not in my possession. Every time I begin winning, I also knew I was leaving money on the table IF ONLY I would hold longer or wait longer for better set ups, etc....

Trouble is, when I do the IF ONLYs, I don't actually do them. I say I am but I behave as though I am scalping. The net result is lots of break evens, losers and very few large winners needed to make this way of trading work. Some overcome this by scaling out of a trade but this ignores the mathematical fact that losing with an initial large position does not overcome taking smaller profits on most of the position that is a winner unless you let the last bit run a really long time. Most don't. I didn't and so this doesn't work at least for me.

The final analysis is this; I am a scalper. I suppose I've always known it. But over time, I've allowed well meaning people to talk me out of it. People like;

Big Mike
Tiger Trader
Others like these
Assorted "experts" I've read over the years.
Well Meaning Friends that have written me private messages over the years.
Anonymous blog readers that send me private messages.

All telling me I must have bigger wins. That scalping is a losers game. And yet, I am personally acquainted with a couple of very wealthy scalpers. Every time I do this exercise, I find people killing it by scalping. There is a disconnect here. Perhaps the non scalpers are telling me the truth....at least from their perspective and the scalpers are also telling me the truth......from their perspective.

I have a theory about the universe. That when truth presents itself, something inside a person will resonate with that truth. Whatever the truth that person needs to hear for themselves will leap within their spirit. And somehow scalping has resonated with me. Its time I acknowledged this publicly.

There is a book out now that is quite popular. The author even has a Ted Talk. The book is called "The Magic of not giving a f**k!. I haven't read the book nor listened to the Ted Talk. The title looks like click bait to me but there is a truth contained within the click bait. That is, those that are successful in any endeavor have really one thing in common. They don't care what other people think about them in their pursuit of their goals.

I have spent a long time as a trader giving a f**k about what other traders thought about me. I knew I needed to have big wins to impress people and truth is, this is a limiting belief.

As John D. Spooner once said, "Do you want to make money or do you want to fool around?"

I've been fooling around it appears trying to impress everyone except my bank account.

On Wednesday, I went back to scalping. I made 50 ticks, yesterday, I made 30 ticks, today I made 30 ticks. No trade was larger than 10 ticks. Granted I could have sold on Wednesday and just held and made a ton of money but that goes right back to the issue I discussed earlier. Greed.

I made more in the last three days than I did in the 30 days prior. I will be a scalper from now on.

It fits my personality like a glove. There is a source of pride and ego in being able to say I made a 6R trade or made a 100 tick trade but I would rather make $100-$200 per contract day in and day out than try to hit home runs every day.

Onward and upward as they say.


Suggested by Anonymous.














Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Scratch day

A directional move to the short side followed by a V bottom to new HOD....followed by sideways chop. Essentially a non-tradeable day. There was one short I could have taken that would have worked out well but I was otherwise occupied with this project....After the V turn at the bottom, I shorted near the highs for a smallish win followed by another short for a smallish loss. Overall a scratch for today.

A few days ago, I broke down and bought Fin-alg's VP and TPO indicator for ninja trader. Its not as robust as Sierra Chart's but its close enough for my purposes. Haven't traded with it yet, but its handy to have for sure. Working with those levels gives you something to lean on to set up your trades. Price action needs to confirm these levels of course but its nice to have.

No trading yesterday as I had a doctor appointment in Phoenix which takes all day since I have to drive 3 hours over and 3 hours back plus at least an hour at the doc's office plus whatever else we want to do. Turns into a 10-12 hour day most of the time.

Cheers...

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Weekly Update

I've been slammed this week with literally no time for anything extra outside working on this project. I have traded just a little bit this week, actually only yesterday and I made 3RR making the simplest trades possible. I did not have time for complex analysis nor did I have time for a long trading session, so I was done fairly early.

Even though I haven't been trading much this week, I have been thinking about it nonstop and I have been mostly thinking about the why I win sometimes and why I lose sometimes. I especially was curious about the days when I can go back in time to those losing days and in hindsight plainly see where had I just done what I know to do, I would have won. I wondered what was different about those days vs the winning days.

Turns out, I think it is about my mental state or more specifically, my emotional state. Essentially I think it has to do with my sense of joy, happiness or peace. The more joy, happiness and peace I feel, the better I trade. The less I feel these emotions or worse, feel the opposite, the worse I trade. I know it sounds simplistic but I think its true.

I've been thinking this for a while now but only really thought in depth this week as I had these many hours to mindlessly work and think at the same time and then today I read the following article excerpt by Jared Dillan of Mauldin Economics. He is a trader, a writer and DJ if I remember correctly. He was once the largest bond trader at Lehman Brothers right before the collapse so he has credibility in this venue.

"People Are Crazy

I think most people (and the legal system especially) completely underestimate how emotional and irrational most people are.
Sometimes I walk down the street and look at people and think to myself how everyone is just barely holding it together. Go to a cocktail party—at least half the people there are in some kind of emotional turmoil that they are barely keeping under wraps.
Trading is about being smart, yes, but it is also an exercise in emotional fitness.
Neurotic, sad people generally don’t make money. Happy, confident people are the ones who make money. (Emphasis mine)
There’s a reason why guys like Paul Tudor Jones hire guys like Tony Robbins as a coach. I think Tony Robbins should stick to his knitting and stay away from real estate conferences, but he has probably helped people be competitive in a very competitive industry. All that hooey about being a winner really is true.
I have seen a lot of people succeed and a lot of people fail at investing, and let me tell you, it is not usually a function of intelligence. These dour, bad-stuff-happens-to-me-all-the-time guys really struggle. They struggle mightily. And not coincidentally, bad stuff does happen to them all the time.
People who act like winners usually win. They aren’t always nice guys, but they are winners. Like I said, it is rarely a function of intelligence.
I’m still working on the secret sauce. I’m profitable, but I’m a bit of a grinder. It’s never easy.
Here’s to things being easy.
Jared Dillian
Editor, The 10th Man
Mauldin Economics
The implication here is that I am sad and neurotic. At first glance I would deny that accusation but deeper thinking about this statement begins to ring true in many areas of my life. The sad part that is. The last few years have been years of loss: financially, my health and of course the passing of both my parents. Sadness is to be expected. To think otherwise is neurotic and I have expressed to others and denied to myself the presence of sadness. But now I think its time to own it. To acknowledge its presence in my life, embrace the reality of it and then move on to a more joyful place. 
A starting point for that is acknowledging my health is nearly completely recovered. I only need to lose about 40 pounds and I will be in arguably the best shape of my adult life. That is something not every one achieves. Recovered health is something to be grateful and happy about. Instead of focusing on the difficulty of losing the weight, I now intend to focus on the gratitude I have that my heart has NO scar tissue from the heart attack. All of the bills from that episode in my life are finally paid and I can chase any goal I want from here! 
This summer I am embarking on a new segment of my spiritual journey. It is uncharted waters for me. It is about the idea of self love. Not the dirty minded kind, but the complete internal acceptance of myself, my successes, my failures, strengths and weaknesses. The acceptance of who I truly am and learning to fully and completely love that person.  
As I've worked toward this journey over the last few months and yes even years, I've always known there would be a point where I would need to confront this aspect of spiritualism. I've postponed, delayed and ignored it and now find myself at the point where it is no longer possible to ignore or delay. Nor do I want to. I want the freedom that comes from reaching this place in life. 
I will write about this sporadically as this kind of journey progresses in fits and spurts. It is non linear and therefore it is not possible to construct a linear narrative about it as it progresses. Instead it must be narrated in hindsight. 
For now though, I have adopted a marvelous quote I read the other day as my new spiritual motto. Its from Gandhi and it goes like this; "I will let no man walk through my mind with his dirty feet!" From this day forward I guard my mind and heart as though it is a priceless treasure....because it is!
Til next week.....
Cheers



Saturday, June 3, 2017

Get yer mind right!

I debated about the wisdom of posting this rambling stream of consciousness post. I thought the example I used was to negative and it is but I love the movie quote even though the movie is quite dark. So take what you will from this post. It's intended to illuminate the necessity for proper thinking about trading. I'd be interested in your thoughts regarding this subject.

There's a great movie about getting your mind right....Its called Cool Hand Luke and its about a petty criminal that gets thrown in prison to work on a chain gang. He doesn't adapt to prison life well and tries to escape. Down south where the movie takes place, they don't cotton much to such things and a large portion of the movie is about the prison trying to "get Cool Hand Luke's mind right". In other words, they work hard to break his mind down so he will be compliant and not try to escape or make trouble.

Trading is about getting yer mind right and the market will work overtime to break your mind and make you give up. I realize there is a negative connotation in the movie and I'm using it in a negative fashion with regards to the market trying to break your spirit but the hard truth is this: You must get your mind right if you expect to beat this thing called the market.

There is a prison most of us lock ourselves up in with regard to trading. The market reinforces that locked up mentality. It punishes bad behavior nearly all the time and once it awhile it rewards that same bad behavior just enough to make us believe we can continue same and somehow avoid the consequences. Regardless of how you arrived there, nearly everyone lives in a prison of their own making with regards to the market.

Here is the prison I've been locked up in for nearly all my trading career:

In simplistic terms; I have believed the market was evil and out to get me. Its why I have been so aggressive with moving to break even on good trades only to see them ticked out and then go on to the profit targets. It's why I have habitually bailed out of good trades way to early thinking the market would take back all my open profits and leave me with nothing or a loss after all the hard work of finding a good trade. It's why sometimes I insist on "taking" something from the market when in fact, all I need to do is wait until its ready to simply "give" it to me. Its why sometimes I think "If I could find an easier way to make the kind of money I know I can in trading, I'd do it in a heartbeat".

This as all the teachers say, is "a limiting belief". It places a cap on what I can realistically expect to receive from the market. As Ed Seykota once said, "Every one gets what they want from the market". If you expect bad from the market, you should expect to receive bad from the market. If you expect to have to "beat" the market, you should expect a fight just to get the smallest degree of profit. If you expect the market to be stingy and evil, you would be correct. It is.

Instead, a more correct belief would be; The market is a wonderful mistress. She is good and generous. She is not out to get me, instead, she is looking for ways to give me what I desire. My only job is to get in tune with what she wants to give me and simply receive it with joy and calmness.

This all comes down to a famous Einstein quote. He once said, "the most important decision we make is whether the universe is friendly or hostile". It seems like a trivial question for the philosophers of the world to debate but it has direct bearing on our success. Everyone I have ever read that has written on success says it must come from a place of joy. Joy is hard to come by if you believe the universe is a hostile place. This way of thinking creates conflict between the stated desire and the underlying belief. If the subconscious is the driver of behavior and it knows you don't believe in a friendly and generous universe/market, then your behaviors will mirror your beliefs even though you verbally state the opposite. In trading terms, this is known as the monkey brain. It acts in opposition to your stated goals but in line with your fundamental belief system. You will find yourself doing exactly the opposite of what you KNOW to be the correct course of action and seemingly powerless to change or stop that behavior.

Eventually we give up altogether or we arrive at that place where Cool Hand Luke did. He got his mind right. He broke and accepted the truth of where he was and his inability to change it. This is a negative example but it serves the purpose of demonstrating that eventually we must get our mind right and that means accepting the fact that the market is a good and generous place to be and that we love it. We are patient with it. We allow it to reach the point where we can simply receive what it is offering and be in the flow of its offerings. Trust me, its there. It's quiet and not always obvious but its there. A never ending flow of money ready to be transferred from those that demand to those that receive.

I am getting my mind right. I know what to do and sometimes I do it correctly. Other times I fight it and my monkey brain is in complete control because my belief system allows him free reign. But I feel as though I made a huge leap this week in terms of getting this part of my trading life correct. Patience will probably always be an issue but I am following the advice of Ed Seykota in terms of allowing myself to trade in accordance with my personality vs trying to trade in a manner that looks good to the outside world. Harmonizing personality with trading style is important but not nearly as important as harmonizing my beliefs about the market with the truth of the market.

There's another quote and I think it is from Will Smith in The Pursuit of Happiness. He said, "I wasn't free until I got my mind right". What an incredible statement. Get your mind right and freedom follows!

Here's the clip from Cool Hand Luke.





























Friday, June 2, 2017

+1R

I didn't make much money today but I'm over the moon at how the process unfolded and what my emotional state felt like.

First of all, the monkey brain was no where to be found. Once again, I was calm and collected and thinking clearly. The counter trend trade was clear and I found it easy to understand the nuances of the trade. It did work without me but being stopped out on a counter trend trade at BE is no big deal. Being stopped out at BE on a trend trade is just stupid and today was a great demonstration of how these two dynamics work.

The big win was the patience for the trend trade after watching the counter trend trade work without me. Normally I'd be upset and try to get that short in hoping for a retest of the swing low it put in. Of course that would be a death knell and then I'd be trying to get in the long at the wrong place and expose myself to excessive risk. Not today though. I waited until there was clear support and went with the trend. No heat, it went quickly to my target and sure enough, it worked out just fine. Total risk was 10 ticks I think so 20 ticks on the win.

Using the 5M for trend and the 1M for entry. I'm well aware the long trade was also counter trend on the 30M chart but thats fine. As along as I don't get greedy in those situations, then I'm fine with higher time frame counter trend trading.


Thursday, June 1, 2017

Clear and Certain

These words from Tony Robbins really sank in...but they were simply reinforcement of the work I've been doing with regard to meditation, visualization and functioning properly in the universe.

Basically Tony drilled me with the truth that you cannot have something unless you are 110% crystal clear on what you want but more importantly the WHY you want something. Parallel to this is the true key to the whole equation. Emotion. The why establishes the reason but the it means nothing if there is no emotion attached to the successful outcome.

What I stated I wanted was more patience to be able to wait for the trade and then to wait for it to pay off.

What I really wanted was the financial freedom successful trading brings with it. Oh wait, there's more beyond that. The real truth is I want the security financial freedom brings and I want to provide the best life I can for my family. That is the real underlying reason for needing patience. Oh and I wouldn't mind a some first class travel!

Tying emotion to it reveals internal fortitude I didn't know I had. Of course no trading Monday, Tuesday I didn't have time to trade and yesterday was my daughter's 8th grade graduation so I didn't didn't trade either. So today was my first trading day this week.

Today's trading was completely different than anything I have experienced before. Nothing changed about the trading method but I did not experience the monkey brain at all today. In fact, I felt calm, collected and totally focused. I knew exactly what I wanted to see before I engaged in a trade. I saw what I wanted 5 times. Two ended in break even, one ended in a 1RR loss, one ended in a 1RR winner and one ended in a 2RR winner.

The trading was pretty boring which is exactly what I know its supposed to be. I am both pleased about today's trading and looking forward to tomorrows.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Crow does not taste like chicken

They say if you eat enough crow, it eventually starts to taste like chicken. "They" whoever that is, lies. Crow does not taste like chicken. It tastes like crow.

I suppose I am not exactly eating crow since I try not to brag to much or act like I know it all but I did write that I could not lose in January and I was pretty proud of it. But the last few days and weeks, It seems like I can't win at all. (hint, its the monkey brain at work only now I can feel him turning cartwheels in my brain).

I traded a little bit every day this week. I did not have a winning day at all. I did have a few nice wins but all they did was offset the losers. I ended up down 2RR for the week on 16 trades. I went back and counted the actual trades that I SHOULD have taken and there were only ten....2 per day essentially and I think I only took 2-3 of those. The rest were wanna be trades. Something I did just because I was behaving stupidly. I kinda sorta got hold of myself last night and today and I think I might actually have a handle on it. We will see next week.

One thing for certain, I have a huge short bias on right now and its pretty darn hard to shake it. I'm going to try some meditation and see if that helps with being directionaly neutral.

A friend pointed me back to Adam Grimes and I had signed up for his free trading course a year or so ago and never did it. I started it this week while I have been working on my other project and it has been helpful. I will put more work in this in the coming weeks and months.

Have a great weekend.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

"Massive Action"

While I'm working on this project, I have time to watch you tube videos and I've noticed something. All the motivational type speakers all advocate taking "massive action" toward your dreams. I mean I love Tony Robbins stuff and he's the most vocal advocate of taking massive action out there. The whole idea is to connect your emotions to your actions. I agree with this in principal and with most types of businesses. However, there is a disconnect in my opinion. 

How do you take massive action in trading? I mean, emotions can kill your account. I know you cannot eliminate emotions from trading and I'm not searching for a way to do this but honestly, what does "massive action" mean to a trader? I'm open to comments and suggestions. 

No trades last two days for me either. Monday I was super sick with a stomach bug and today I overslept as a result of not sleeping yesterday from the stomach bug.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Holy Grail Found!!!!

I have found the Holy Grail of Trading!! There is a story in the holy scripture that talks about a man who is walking through a field and sees a treasure worth many millions of dollars. He goes home and sells all he has to raise enough money to buy the field. Once he has purchased the field, he is filled with joy over his good fortune. The funny thing about this story is that the treasure was hidden in plain sight.

Such is true of the Holy Grail of Trading. It's hidden in plain sight.

What is this Holy Grail you ask? It's not a magic indicator or some system that has a positive expectancy. No it's far simpler than this. The Holy Grail is not external or on the charts. It's internal.

The Holy Grail is simply put; Patience. Patience is the holy grail. Think about it and you will realize the power of this knowledge.

The treasure hidden in plain sight. Earl Nightingale's Field of Diamonds. Right under foot and we don't see it.

I think I would be rich today from my trading activities if I had actually sold everything and bought the treasure of patience.

Time to change.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Quick update

I'm buried but thought I would do a 2 minute update.

1. I am neck deep in the project I started last week. This is at least a month long project and perhaps several more.

2. I am still trading (poorly) Last two weeks have been net draw down. My own fault. I was short all day today....against all common sense and indicator crutches to the contrary. I continue to trade against the crutches and I continue to mismanage perfectly good trades.

3. I am taking tomorrow off from trading. I need to process nearly ten days of losing....small losers to be sure but losers nonetheless. Combined, they represent a nearly 5% draw down from the equity high.

4. Its not the system or method. Its me. I feel WAY out of the zone compared to the week I made $5000.

5. Meditation has gone great...mostly. I had a great winning day in the middle of all this losing and I visualized a super winning day prior to it starting.

6. I should get my car back in a day or two after the shop has completed the repairs it needed after being stolen almost 2 months ago.

7. I won't be posting very frequently due to the project I am working on. If you want to know, its a forensic project on a major mortgage fraud case involving one of the largest US banks and a REIT. Its boring and tedious but it pays really well. Its like looking for a needle in a very large haystack. If you ever wonder why litigation costs so much, its because of work like this. Paying lots of people really good money to find evidence that might not be there. I working on a file right now that has 253 documents inside it and each document has between 5 and 75 pages with the occaisional 175 page document. This one probably has 1200-2000 pages in it. We are doing a sample of 800 of these files with 7000 more to follow. Millions are being spent just to find evidence. Fun times.

8. Stay tuned and hopefully you are trading better than me.....

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Scratch Day

Today was very interesting. I felt in control, I was patient with my trades when I needed to be and impatient when I needed to be. My only mistake was hesitating on the 3rd sequence. I didn't really believe it when the add on location happened exactly as I had visualized and I recognized it 2 seconds to late. I threw the limit order on but it was already gone so I tried at a lower price to get in and while I was filled, the trade ended up BE on the entire position.

The rest of it was just testing the water, letting it play out and getting out when it wasn't working any longer and the tape turned against me.

Today was a training session for me with my new consulting gig and I will put in some hours this afternoon and evening but tomorrow it starts in earnest. I'm going to try and get in 10-12 hours a day for the next month or so only resting on Sundays. After that I suspect the project will slow down for another month or two. In all honesty, it looks like the project could turn into a 3-6 month project depending on how detailed the client wants to be and how many actual files the client is required to review and deconstruct. If it goes longer than a couple of months, I'll make a fairly large sum of money and that is a good thing.

Cheers and this is probably my last post for the week.


Wednesday, May 10, 2017

-1RR

I really shouldn't trade on inventory days and yet something always draws me in. I think its because I'm up already, might as well see what's happening....FOMO maybe????

Anyway, I had a great entry into the long rally. My control bar gave me small risk and it went my way pretty quick.....and then it just stalled and went back and forth for 90 minutes. My pre-trade analysis showed resistance at .74 and I figured price would make it there before inventory THEN bounce around for a while and then have the whipsaw stop runs normally seen on inventory days.

But no, it went back and forth first and the longer it chopped around, the less patient I became, eventually I took it off somewhere in the middle of the range......and it THEN rocketed straight up after the number.

 My early morning analysis showed it might see it hit .74 and reverse down. The longer it chopped around, the more I became convinced this was a very likely scenario. So I put in a limit order to go SHORT at .74 and saw my stop not only hit immediately but I got caught in the liquidity trap. The stop was actually ignored as price ran past it, the order got cancelled automatically and I had an open position going against me. So I just clicked the close all positions button and settled for a -2RR on that ill conceived trade. Well maybe it wasn't ill conceived but it was certainly against ALL my rules for the way I trade.

Now I'm out of the market as it moves in the direction all my crutches say its going to with no way to get in without significant risk so I stand down and just wait for the next area of resistance. That is on the daily chart and sure enough, it stops right there. After it spends some time chopping about, I put a limit order to go short near the top and sure enough, the price ladder starts going nuts right there. It goes my way for a bit and then it goes against me and misses my stop by 2 ticks. The bears hit it hard right there and price goes right back to my entry and it starts to look like the bears might win but at my entry price, the bulls step in, hit it hard and ran my stop pretty quick.

So what happens on inventory days so many times is this, I'm out of the market when the run happens and I'm forced to look for counter trend trades. Most of the time these take a LONG time to develop and then usually take a long time to pay off. I really do think I should just stand down on inventory days. I've said this over and over again. But perhaps I should actually follow through on this. This is the very definition of insanity.

Regardless, the limit short at .74 just before inventory while a well considered trade, was NOT an appropriate trade for me. The monkey brain was apparently in control even though I felt rational and in control. That is what deception feels like. Normal, but its only later you recognize the deception. The truth was, I should have been at the barest minimum, following my trend filter crutch and either still in the trade I entered 90 minutes earlier or buying the break out of the compression zone that formed just before the number. Either would have been just fine.

Yesterday I found out I can do a round the world trip hitting many of the places I want to go for about $10,000 per person. This isn't staying at the Four Seasons or anything like that but if I'm willing to put the effort into it, I can take my family around the world in about 60 days, see a fair number of stuff on my bucket list and be back before anyone notices I'm gone! So I'm setting a goal today of being in a place to cough up the $30,000 for all three of us to jump in the plane next summer, spend 60 days on the road and be back in time for my kiddo to start school. I already have the itinerary picked out. We might have to adjust it a bit depending on how things work out but I think its totally doable. I need to trade better than I am now but I feel it beginning to be real.

I want to be in the place where I can trade enough size to be able to make my daily nut without needing 50 ticks every day and being able to withdraw that daily nut without impacting my ability to trade that required size. I know this will come with time and more importantly, consistency but it does feel like its taking a long time. This week and last week have been with smaller size whereas the huge winning week were with essentially double my normal size. I'm going to be smaller size the remainder of this week but next week I think I am going to add at least one more lot and maybe two more lots later in the week.

Tomorrow I start a project that is projected to last for two months. It pays pretty damn well so I'm glad to have it but it will require a LOT of time. This will prevent as timely or perhaps as frequent postings. I will be trading every day but once I'll have limited time to trade and even more limited time for blogging. I will at a minimum do an update at least weekly depending on how demanding the timeline actually is. I will find out tomorrow.

Ok, enough rambling for now.





Tuesday, May 9, 2017

+2RR

There is an old saying that good things come to those that wait. Jesse Livermore said it was his waiting that made him his money. Even when I miss a move, most of the time, just waiting around for the correct look results in a profitable trade.

I feel like I'm starting to click again. I wasn't anticipating the continued selling today due to how the 30M chart and the daily looked early on and I was prepared to be long if the conditions warranted.

However, I stayed short today and even though I had an early loss, I was able to make up for it with a nice win and end up 2RR today. Most importantly though, I was patient and the monkey brain never made a single appearance today.

I'd like to give a brief update on my meditation experiment. I'm in my third week and I feel like things might be starting to make some sense. I've wanted my wife to join me on the journey but refused to pressure her to start. I figured I'd let her see my journey and make a decision to join me. A few nights ago, my wife of her own volition watched "The Secret" and while we watched years ago, it made no sense to us at that time. This time around it seems to have made a profound difference in her. She is talking different, began insisting we put up a "vision board" and she has begun her own "meditation" routine although it looks completely different than what I am doing. She told me last night she feels "lighter" inside. Which oddly enough is exactly the word I would use to describe how I feel about circumstances in general and about the future specifically.

So very strange this "secret". Its been hidden in plain sight along and yet I could not or would not see it. I've always been a "positive thinker", I've read hundreds of self help, leadership and self improvement books over the years. There is a lot of value there to be sure. I would be lying if I said they didn't help but a few years ago, I quit reading them for one reason only. Why read another one when the concepts from the last one either didn't work or I didn't really give it a real try?

I never quit searching though. Through good times and bad, my quest for understanding and dare I say it, "enlightenment" has never stopped. I've taken detours, tried short cuts that didn't work and I've postponed the trip several times but the idea that there was something more out there never left me.

Today I may not have everything I want presently manifested in my life but I can see it and more importantly, I can feel it as though it has already happened.

I'm excited and curious about what the future hold....oh wait, I know what it holds because I can create it.....there's an exciting thought!!

The last pic is me in a Jaguar F Type Coupe. I prefer the convertible but I only had a pic of me in the coupe. When this is real, it will be a red convertible and since I want to use it as my daily driver it will probably be the new turbo charged 4 cylinder that came out this year. (Gas mileage issues) I'm old enough now for young guys to look at me in a red sports car and wonder why they only see old dudes driving sports cars like I did when I was young!! I've always loved the old E Types and this F Type is legitimate successor to the legacy Jag built with the E Type.






Monday, May 8, 2017

+3RR and Thoughts on You Tube

Today was a one and done day just the way I like it. The chart shows my thinking. The one thing it doesn't show is my entry logic for the actual trade. Simply put, it was the 50% pull back on the impulse spike up.

After taking some time to bask in the glory of the chart, take some time to peruse my thoughts on You Tube down below the trading chart. I've been using YT to help pass the time while waiting for the trades. This is a double edge sword and my discussion below demonstrates this fact.


And now the You Tube discussion. Well its more of a flow chart demonstrating the power of you tube. 


Friday, May 5, 2017

Well now, that's interesting

I've been complaining about the lack of volatility in the crude oil market. Well today we got it back in spades as the bulls finally took over after many days of selling. Of course this increased volatility is a double edge sword. On one hand, you can be wrong about the direction and still make money....on the other hand, the risk can often be so large it precludes us retail day traders from even thinking about being in the market.

I took a calculated risk shorting with a 1RR stop which was hit nearly immediately, which incidentally is how I like it. If I am wrong, I want to know right away, not hold for 30 minutes and then get hit. Once the stop was hit, some consolidation above the bull flag began and then it broke and ran without me. Of course there was a shot at getting in at the low tick of the move and I considered it but the nearly 50 ticks of risk put me off the trade. So I just let it go.

I came back about an hour later and saw we had made it to yesterday's mid point which is almost always good for a pull back. However, going in blind at a level like this in the face of all that buying is nearly always a terrible thing. However, it would have worked for about 20 ticks or so. I let the blind trade go and started looking for the Catholic Trade. For my justification of this, I submit a quote by the infamous Jessie Livermore.

Jesse Livermore Quote 25:
“Don’t take action with a trade until the market, itself, confirms your opinion. Being a little late in a trade is insurance that your opinion is correct. In other words, don’t be an impatient trader.”
So I waited until price had taken out the high again but failed to close at or near the high, then I waited until two inside bars had formed and then instead of taking the break of the low which happened first, I sold the break of the high and then moved to break even after price had gone my way around 10-12 ticks. I set my target one tick below the recent swing low which just happened to be 30 ticks and sat back to wait. It took a bit of time, 25 minutes I think but it worked out just fine. Today I salute the Catholic Trade. 
I made back my 1RR plus another 2.5RR. This means with yesterday's work, I ended the week positive although just barely after commissions. I think I netted 2-3 ticks for the week! Outstanding return on time and effort don't you think?
On another note, I've begun to step up my game with meditation. When I do it right, I feel great, when I do it wrong or barely do it, I feel ok but I also feel like I missed something that day. But the results are undeniable. When I meditate properly, it just seems like good things happen. I am excited to see where this experiment leads. Still have 2 weeks to go in the thirty day challenge. 
Last thing today, I picked up a consulting gig that should start next week sometime. Should last about 2 months. It's with a firm that specializes in helping big banks either sue or defend themselves in lawsuits having to do with the housing bust and the ensuing foreclosure feeding frenzy. There was enough crime committed by the big banks during the foreclosure processes that everyone of them should be in jail but if you notice, not a single one is. They made more money doing foreclosures than they did selling the mortgages in the first place. Why you ask? Most of those mortgages were INSURED against default meaning if the homeowner defaulted, some insurer somewhere would pay a claim on that loan and the bank would not lose a dime! Then they took the home away from the homeowner often times in a faulty or illegal foreclosure using forged foreclosure documents and began selling those foreclosed homes into a rising market. It's still going on, banks have been holding many of those homes for 3-5 years now and are finally unloading them at these new inflated prices.  Tell me who is a good trader now! 
This should start you thinking about whose interest the banks have at heart. It's not yours I promise you! 
Anyway, the gig pays pretty good. I'll make enough in two months to cover the rest of the years living expenses I think. Might fall a bit short of the entire year but should be close. However, that also means my journal will more than likely consist of a screen shot of the days trades with little or no narrative. You'll have to figure it out for yourself!
And now today's chart. Oh, a note about charts. I did a lot of thinking over last weekend and this week and once again, I was reminded that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. I had begun using multiple charts to find entries and exits. The more I did that, the more complex the decision making process became and the worse decisions I was actually making. So by yesterday, I had eliminated all but the five minute chart, a daily chart for some perspective and a 30 minute chart with a weekly VWAP on it because I think its pretty. The 5 minute chart is my main chart, its where I execute and make decisions from. Since I am not looking to hit 100 tick home runs, I don't need the perspective needed to make a 100 tick decisions. 

Here's the chart.