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

A little risk management saves a lot of fan cleaning!

The Purpose of Life is Joy!!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017


Bought 52.54, exited at structure on the 30M chart at 52.84. Nice 3RR trade without much effort.

I was able to get in on a limit order after price had moved away from that price and come back. I was happy I got the opportunity. Could just as easily not filled there or moved away rapidly from my levels.

I see on the daily chart we MIGHT have an up day and if so, I will be looking long again tomorrow.

I made an 84% on my second math quiz. That's the highest score I've ever gotten on anything math related. I'm a bit stunned actually at that score. 6 more to go and then we will see where I finish. If I can maintain that level or close to it, I will be blown away happy!

Time to hit the books even though its early. I like finishing my trading early on. It makes for a stress free day for some reason!


EDIT: I left a lot of money on the table this morning....but here is the deal. In trading, you make your decisions and you have to be ok with however those decisions turn out. I don't do well with holding trades for a really long time. I've made the decision to take profit at conservative exit locations. Today that happened to be at 52.84 based on perceived resistance on the 30M chart at that level. The trade worked. What more can I ask for? Did I get the levels wrong? It looks like it but in the long run, who cares. I made 3X the risk I took. That's a good trade anytime anywhere by anyone. This is a truism in trading in life, you can only control the process, not the outcome. We must be ok with whatever the process produces. Anything other than that will cause us to become frustrated and angry with ourselves and that's not healthy in trading or in life.

Monday, January 30, 2017


After the run up overnight, I was looking for 53.20 to hold as support and looking for a signal to get long but it didn't happen and I didn't get a signal....then it broke down below that level, put in another consolidation area and broke below that. By then I was convinced and shorted 53.07 to the swing low. Not my favorite way to trade but it does work. Took the break out instead of the pull back because once it broke away from the consolidation zone I figured it wasn't coming back....and it appears I was right, at least in the near term.

On another note, a few weeks before Christmas, a friend sent me a link to some work out videos and I watched just one but it convinced me to begin slowly. So I started doing some push ups, the cheater kind where you use a wall and he told me to start with just 20 so I did. That first 20 were tough. I am so out of shape!!! But I kept at it gradually adding another ten after a couple of weeks and today I did 60 of the cheater push ups. Those last 5 were rough but I got them done. Two weeks of those and then I'll move to a table top for the push ups, start the counts over and then finally move to the floor for "real ones".

I've also been walking about 7 miles a week. I know, that's not very much but its a re-start of something I began after the heart attack and eventually gave up. I started at about a 30 minute mile on  a flat surface and I'm up to a 18 minute mile on undulating surface. I think about another 2 weeks of this and if I can get it to a 15 minute mile, I'll add another mile at a slower pace. Ideally I want to get to 60 minutes of walking per day. Good for my heart and good for my waistline!

I've always thought I walked fast but out there at the park I walk at, there are people with 20+ years on me walking at least twice as fast as me. I felt pretty small when a little old lady passed me on an up slope like I was standing still! I don't care though, like trading, getting fit is highly personal and personalized. What works for me and what I can realistically do every day is going to be different from everyone I don't care. I'm just happy to be able to improve a little every day.


Friday, January 27, 2017

+1RR....+2.1RR for the week

One of those days where you wake up late, don't follow procedure, wing it and count yourself luck you got out without a loser.

I normally take a look at the daily and one higher time frame like the 30M chart every day just to make sure there is room in the higher time frames to get a profit target off on the 5M chart and to make sure I'm not trading into obvious levels.

I didn't do that today and while the trade mostly worked, I might not have taken the trade...or I might have.....just not sure about that in all honesty. Regardless, the sell off happened so quick and with some strong authority that I knew I missed something so I looked at the 30M chart and sure enough, obvious levels right there for all the world to see.

I'm not posting charts as much lately but these needed to be shown for posterity.

My target was missed by two ticks and once price has moved within a 2-3 ticks of my target I always move to the midway point between target and entry....I made a promise to myself I would always get paid on a winning trade no matter what. No BE+1's mind you, those have been the bane of my trading but if the trade is almost finished, then no point in settling for a loser or a BE trade. Take something for the hard work. That's what happened today.

On another note. All winning days this week. I ended with +2.1RR.

Time to hit the books...well some coffee first then the books.

(EDIT) I think I need to revise my reporting. I just added up the RR's for the week and reported that as the total RR but I think that is wrong. My best win was a 3RR but if I add up the total risk vs the total reward, then its more like 2.5RR cumulative which keeps the total amount I risked over the course of the week in line with the total amount gained over the week.

For instance, if I risked $500 per trade and took ten trades for a possible $5000 loss for the week and ended with $10,000 in profit, that is a 2RR gain. So in the spirit of keeping both sides of the equation equal (see, I am catching on to the math) both need to be reported.

If anyone has a better handle on how to do this, drop me a line.



Thursday, January 26, 2017


Based on the daily chart which has been forming a pennant since the 3rd of January, last night I figured we either had a big down day to the 52.00 area if the upper side of the wedge held or a break out day to the long side if it it turns out, the entire candle is forming outside the wedge to the long side so I knew I wanted to be long.

I bought 53.08, stopped out for -1RR, and then bought 53.23 off the one minute chart because I didn't like the large 40 tick 5M candle. Based on the potential break out day today, I decided to move my targets out to 3RR to see if I could capture a slightly larger piece of any break and run. I got the 3RR target, recovered the 1RR loss and done for the day.

Normally I'd stick with the 2RR and finish with 1RR which is fine with me but I was fairly certain it would break and run a bit based on the daily chart and I got it right.

I think perhaps a bit of luck was in play today with how the second trade worked out. I was buying pretty far away from higher time frame support so I was banking on the much shorter time frame support areas holding....they did and it worked out.

Cheers and time to study.

A bit of a macro look for you today courtesy of Capitalist Exploits.

"And this is where I want to bring to your attention today - the disconnect between the dollar and oil.

We know that oil trades inversely to the dollar.
Now, take a look at speculative long positioning in oil.
Whoah! Something is out of whack!

So now we have a conundrum: The market is long the USD and it's long oil.

Markets are like wives. They exhibit just three outcomes: Happy (up), grumpy (down), or neutral (sideways).

One of these outlooks is wrong.

Either the dollar longs are wrong and oil goes higher, in which case those speculative oil longs are right.

Or oil goes lower and the dollar goes higher.

The third option is that over time the speculators slowly reduce positions and we get back to levels which don't exhibit such extremes. That can easily happen.
One other interesting factoid is that the physical producers are currently the shortest in history. (Emphasis Mine)Hmmm, out of whack!"

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

+1RR, +2RR...+3RR

I was up early, saw price was at support on the daily, scalped short for 1RR after the DB held, left the screens for a good bit, took my daughter to school, got some coffee, came home and chatted with the wife for a bit then got back to the screens just before inventory.

Inventory has historically been a disaster for me so today not really wanting to trade but IF something happened that was worthwhile I'd put one on.

I tried getting filled at .71 after the inventory candle was over but no luck. So I put the trade on at .79 hoping the stop runs were over and sure enough, off it went....left a lot of money on the table but that's how it goes when you opt for mostly static targets....I'm not sad or unhappy about it but just part of the game. I'm just happy to be winning again.

Time to study. btw, I got a 48% on my first quiz and the professor felt sorry for me so gave me a second chance. I did the study homework and modified my approach just a little bit and retook the quiz and ended with a 74.9%. Not great but far better than I am used to!

On the other hand, my daughter is rocking A's and B's and made honor roll last quarter. Papa's proud!


Tuesday, January 24, 2017


Some odd price action this morning being constrained between yesterday's highs and lows...I had to wait a long time, almost 90 minute to see what I wanted to see but I got with just a tad more risk than I like so I sized down and took it anyway. Forty five minutes later, was rewarded with an nice target exit near the highs. One and done for the day.

I have a lot of studying to do this week. Took my first math quiz last week. Total bomb. So bad the professor offered to let me do it again!. Not that there will be much difference between the two but at least I get to try!

Time for food, coffee and math. Two out of three isn't to bad.

Monday, January 23, 2017


Risk was in line with my expectations. The reward took a while but no real heat or draw-down.

I wasn't able to get in the best price for the short at at 52.53 but the signal was valid so I took it and basically just started watching you tube videos. Sometimes those videos are informational and sometimes just silly stuff to pass the time. Today was silly stuff with a couple of informational ones thrown in so I didn't feel like I was wasting time!

Time to hit the books. I think I spent about 20 hours last week trying to get through the first chapter in my math class. Pure agony. Its an online class so I can use Google a bit to help but its still tough for me. I don't understand half of what I am reading.....and don't care to understand either....thats the tough part.


Friday, January 20, 2017


Another day, another pre-market win and time to hit the books.

I bought 52.82 with the expectation of resistance between 53.03 and 53.30 based on the daily chart. With risk reasonably low but showing some hesitation at these levels I was reluctant to be long but it was to early to be short. So I put the long on and watched it close. It took quite a long time but price went right into the zone and presently looks like it might be the beginnings of a reversal. I won't be there for that but nice to see the analysis was correct at least for this early action.

I was out late last night with my wife and I'm pretty tired and sleepy but I have a full day of hitting the books.

Have a great weekend.


Thursday, January 19, 2017

Houston, we have a problem

As it turns out, numbers are magic, and I have no interest in magic.

I think I might be royally screwed.

Its like drinking from a fire hose and I'm not thirsty in the least!

Turns out there is a reason its taken me so long to complete this math requirement. My eyes glaze over as soon as I start reading the text. Its like reading Shakespeare in Latin. Beautiful I'm sure but completely unintelligible!

This looks to be more difficult than I had hoped.

Time to slog on.....

+.375 + .50%...+.875% for the day

Two trades. The first one trailed out at +.375% after missing my target by a tick and the second one went right to the target.

Bought 52.37 and 52.42. The price action was very range bound today and I think I was lucky these signals actually produced something. I traded a bit longer than normal today as my schedule allowed it. However I'm now running late so time to get going.

I think tomorrow I will adopt Sandy's nomenclature regarding risk and reward reporting. I will move to an RR format where the reward is expressed as a multiple of the risk. Using that format, I was 2RR and 4RR. I actually like the way that looks as opposed to a percentage return. 4RR looks better than .50%.

Inventory is in a couple of safe!

Anyway, until tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

+1.0%....+2.00% for the week.

One and done today before the open. I also rolled over today.

Sold 52.52 on the the pull back to the top of the compression zone....Looking at the daily chart, I figured there was room to try for a bit more than normal. That happened just before the open and I exited at double the daily goal.

Nice trade if I say so myself.

Time to hit the books.


I originally typed +2% in the blog title but its only 1%....not sure where the brain fart came from but I corrected as soon as it hit me!!


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

+.50%+ .50% for 1.0% on the day.

One trade this morning well before the open. Bought 53.04.....Small risk, less than .125% exited for a nice .50% gain.

I will wait around for the open and see what happens but I'll be gone shortly thereafter.

Today was a case of waiting for smaller risk. Opportunities presented prior to this but risk was greater. Just have patience and sure enough, the right trade with smaller risk showed up. Before I would have tried to take the first opportunity with the higher risk and try to use a fixed stop not appropriate for the risk. That almost always got stopped out. Now, just wait. It pays off.



Another opportunity presented itself just before the open with minimal risk. It wasn't super clean in terms of how the trade progressed but it worked out ok in the  end. Was almost stopped out, missed me by two ticks but ended with another .50% and that makes me happy. Bought 53.10 and exited at +.50%.

Went took a shower, did my morning exercise routine, grabbed some food, came back and edited the blog post and now ready to hit the books for the day. Should be exciting!!! NOT.

Friday, January 13, 2017

+.50%...+2.0% for the week

It took a long time today or at least it seems that way. In any event, I was fortunate to be able to find a reasonable set up this morning that didn't take to long to pay off.

On a different note, I start school on Monday. Eight weeks of math and Spanish. The math is required, the Spanish is an elective. I suspect my time is going to be spent nearly entirely on these two things in the next 8 weeks. I totally suck at non financial math. I am pretty comfortable with all things financial but the rest, well lets just say I have spent a lifetime cheating or avoiding it altogether. This time through though, I have to suck it up and actually do it right. Its the last step toward me being the first person to graduate from college in my family. If nothing else, I want to do it as an example for my kiddo. She's already smarter than me in math, she helped me pass the placement test and shes only in 8th grade! I'm hoping she can tutor me these next few weeks.

Time to head out in a few minutes.


+.50%....+1.5% for the week

Didn't have time to post yesterday so this post is yesterday's result.

A single long trade right at the open with very small risk. Exited with 20+ ticks and one and done.

I am enjoying this new found focus on the process vs just trading and it is producing not only some wins but more importantly, it is producing confidence in myself to do the right thing. After I left the charts yesterday morning, I never thought about it again even once all day long. That is a sea change for me. I normally think about trading most of the day even if I am engaged elsewhere. I must confess, it was a welcome change.

Still thinking about the no trade Wednesday I had this week and how much of a confidence builder that day was. Hopefully that lesson and that feeling will last a long time.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

No trades today but still a huge winner

Today was inventory day. I am always more cautious on inventory days even though I almost always get a trade set up. Today however, I did not get a single trade set up. Not one. I have a small number of conditions that must be met for a trade to actually trigger and although some of the conditions presented themselves, the critical one did not. And so no trades today. Honestly, today feels like a huge win. Because I followed the plan to the letter and I feel like it worked out just fine.

The emotion I feel over not trading just to trade or trying something just to see what happens is really astounding. I have to admit, I think today is the first day I've not traded and felt like a success.

One for the record books for sure.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


In the context of the side hustle idea, I've limited my trading to around 90 minutes a day and I am going to work towards reducing that to one hour per day if possible. I am thinking probably not because I've noticed at least lately, the best opportunities are coming around the 7:30AM mark and that puts me right at 90 minutes from when I normally get to the charts. 

But for today, two trades with .5% each puts me at +1.0% for the day and I risked about .125% each time. Not to bad. Second trade had a lot more in it of course but I needed to be done right as that trade was finishing up. 

Chart today is from I am away from my trading machine and working on another side project I took on this week. I got bored with that so decided to do my blog post today. I rather like the platform. I understand you can trade from it now through a couple different brokers. Maybe I will open an account with them at some point. I like the idea of browser based charting and trading. I don't need lightening fast execution so a browser platform might be ok. That's down the road a fair piece for now though. I don't need it so no need to really pursue it right now. 

Monday, January 9, 2017

No trades today

First day of school for the kiddo. Made sure she was up and ready to go. Turns out she got up on her own and I wasn't needed but I took the time anyway.

Friday, January 6, 2017

No Trades today

We were out late last night with friends....didn't get home til almost midnight which means I overslept by about 2 hours. From the looks of it, the early going would have probably produced at least one loser followed by a couple of decent winners to the short side.

Next week my daughter starts back to school after the Christmas break. She is looking forward to it and so am I!.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

-.25%...-.375% for the week

Today marks the beginning of a new chapter for me. I'm not going into a lot of detail here but suffice to say, in 60 days I start work for a large national bank as their mortgage rep here in my fair city. 

In thinking through how this is going to impact my life and my trading, a few things became clear. The mortgage business can be all consuming. I've done it long enough I know how to minimize this impact and be effective in a so called normal work day. That said though, my preoccupation with trading is coming to an end. Not so much that I will stop trading, just that I will no longer eat, sleep and breathe trading. I can't, the mortgage business will replace trading for my attention. 

Therefore, as my wife and I have been chatting about the changes that are coming, we both agreed that trading will of necessity become the side hustle. I dislike that term because it implies less than focused work. However, in the overall scheme of things, I like idea. 

My mortgage work day will normally start around 9AM. That's the earliest I can get in the bank. That leaves me around 4 hours in the morning to trade, work out, meditate, study and otherwise prepare for the day. 

Since the RTH session opens at 7AM my time and then at 6AM my time when the time changes, I am going to revise my trading schedule starting immediately to 30 minutes prior to the RTH and trade for up to 90 minutes. The goal in that 90 minutes is to capture a single leg of at least 20 ticks. Whatever is available in that 90 minutes is what I will get for the day. If I get a 20+ winner in the first 30 minutes, I am done for the day leaving me more time for other things. 

Using a single chart, I will size trades between one and three lots depending on risk and look for a $200-$600+ day. As the account grows, I will add lots appropriately. 

I am a creature of routine. I like a reasonable plan for the day. This fits in with my personality. Even as I write this, I have a sense of well being about the decision. The idea that I need to sit here all day and try to capture a huge swing, be in the trade for 1 or 2 hours does not sit well with me. I am not wired that way at all. 

Time to settle in and grind it out. Small wins compounded over time makes Brian a happy man. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

-.125%....-.125% for the week

Execution wasn't too bad today. No follow through on the early longs. No follow through on the shorts. I had targets around 51.80 based on the daily support. Never even got close. I did trail out to cover the losses on the longs and reshorted for the reach for 51.80. That stopped out as well. Finally got long after being away from the charts for about 45 minutes. I figured it would go to the weekly VWAP and it did but I had the target to far. Should have monitored it a bit better as the VWAP moved down to meet price. No the other way around. This last trade was a revenge trade. I was tired of being stopped out with no follow through.....last ditch effort to make some money on the day....and it scratched. Should have just walked away. 

Anyway, first two days of trading under my belt and I'm not totally unhappy with execution and risk control. Both have been decent. Yesterday was a loser/winner/scratch day and today was a small loser. I am more or less ok with that. All I really need is two or three winning days a week to make this work as long as I control risk the other days. 

Another good thing is my holding times are going way up. From around 5 minutes to getting close to 30. I did a study once that said if I would hold 25 minutes, most of my trades would reach their planned profit objective. This applied through small ranges and large ones....So even though I'm actually holding longer, the profit objectives are elusive just do to follow through at this point....I know enough to stay with it though as the law of large numbers is in my favor. 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Scratch day

Was long several times early. All stops....then reversed as price began breaking down....

Made enough on the single short to recoup the early losses plus a few dollars.

Headed to Phoenix to get some shots in my back....the last ones didn't work as well as the first set I got. Round two.