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

A little risk management saves a lot of fan cleaning!

The Purpose of Life is Joy!!

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


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


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.

Thursday, May 4, 2017


Yesterday was a .5RR loss. Mostly due to commissions. Today was a one and done day.

I missed the short at 5:00 AM because I didn't get to the charts in time and I missed the re-test by a tick or two and so I was limited to a smaller trade after the cash open. Smallish risk and I went for 1.5X risk which I got. That was enough for me today. I simply want to start putting more winning days together even if they are smaller ones.

Even with all the losers, I haven't even given back 10% of my winnings from 2 weeks ago. That is a good feeling although that winning week seems like an eternity removed from right now. My only task is to return to that winning form.

I am spending a lot of time in visualizations lately...ok, just started really, that winning week was the beginning and last week I failed to keep it up. This week I've begun again although for some reason, it hasn't been as easy to focus. Not sure why but I'm working on it.

For now, I'm content to put together a few days of back to back winning by just following the process.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

No trades today

Was long biased and could not find a long set up today so I let it go even though there was lots of opportunity short. I knew I wouldn't hold it long enough to make a difference since my long bias would constantly have me thinking it would reverse. So no trades. And honestly, it felt pretty decent to sit there and not trade. I was tired of losing and not trading means no losing and once in a while perhaps its best to sit it out and just watch.


Monday, May 1, 2017


Seriously, where has my beloved crude oil gone? I know there is lots of uncertainty in the world but that's no reason to act like this!!! Please, please please, can we have some follow through momentum soon!!

Well the issue isn't really CL although its gotten harder to trade for sure but the real issue is my lack of patience. I just missed the first spike down at 5:25 or so. I was indisposed but I figured it would pop back up and test the break down level and it did but an hour and a half later during which I got impatient and started trying to "catch the move" downward. I finally gave that up and tried a single long trade which stopped out almost immediately.

I gave up in frustration and took my kid to school a few minutes early only to come back and see it meet my original idea of testing the break down and then reversing downward. To say I was pissed was an understatement. Not at the market but at myself. The target zone hasn't been met yet but it probably will at some point today given enough time which I don't have the patience for today.

I moved my office to Starbucks for some peace and quiet ( I can't cuss out loud here) to write this post and take a look inside. Honestly, each day the patience thing becomes more and more of an issue. Some days I have the patience of Job and other days I have the patience of a two year kid in an ice cream shop.