Thursday, June 28, 2012

Back to basics

Today I was inspired to start using this blog as a trading journal due to my ability to repeat past mistakes despite my exhaustive efforts not to repeat errors.  I feel the best way for me to get over the hump of continually kicking myself after bad trades may be to write it down.

Today was an extremely volatile day in CL.  The day opened with a long trade, where I entered premarket and (too quickly) exited 2/3 contracts for a small profit.  The third was left on just as my power went out.   When the power finally came back on an hour later, I had been stopped out for break even.  The rest of my day seemed to go downhill from here.  A forced long attempt with a loose stop gave me a large loser, followed by quick shorts pulled for small profits, and then finally a long attempt which I averaged down into to make back some of my losses on the day.  I finished the day with a small gain, but it was a rollercoaster.

Lessons from today:

Stay with the system.  Despite my repeated gut attempts to pick a bottom.  It is a losing battle.

Follow your instincts.  Every indicator hinted at a continuation lower, however I was covering contracts too quickly to make small gains rather than focus on larger trend of the day.

Do not go on tilt.  In other words, the market will do it's thing with or without you.  Accept it and keep a level head.

These are my thoughts for the day and continue to be the mantra of trading every day.

Tomorrow, my goal will not be to make money, but trade effectively.  To do this, no trade will be held more than 4-5 ticks beyond the dots and all profits will be scaled starting with a candle violation or pink line.

I will inform you of my progress tomorrow.  I will post some charts as well of my trades.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

December TF Trades

12/8 TF Trades


Only one long entry today after missing the morning action.  Stop for a loss.

12/9 TF Trades


Again a difficult day.  Market trended higher all day and left me attempting to wait for momentum to slow.  One short entry for break  I took a couple scalps long for small profit.

12/12 TF Trades


Short entry near the open for a small winner. Long for small winner.  Short for a stop. Long for small winner and then a really nice short trade followed by a really nice long trade near end of day.  Sometimes a lack of market movement after a big move can cause feelings of  "I missed the move" and a belief that jumping in is the right thing to do.  It never is the right thing to do.  Always wait for your entry.  

12/13 TF Trades


Technically the morning short should not be taken since the channel was not broken, but I took it.  I saw heavy resistance above after a strong overnight move and believed it was worth the risk.  While I do believe in always following your rules, I also believe you can still take trades that don't meet all of your criteria AS LONG AS your stop never changes.  11AM short for a small winner followed by a very nice end of day short.

12/14 TF Trades


Attempted short for a stop, then attempted long for a stop, then a nice short which worked well and a long for a small profit. Another nice long presented itself and two more nice shorts to make the day very profitable.

12/15 TF Trades


Short entry for a nice win. Two longs for nice wins.  A short for a stop.  Another short for a break even. 

12/16 TF Trades


Nice long in the morning, but missed it.  Hung out down by the dots for too long and pulled this one.  Good example of not over analyzing tick movement.  Very nice short set up around 10AM which was extremely profitable.  Put the full short back on at the dots again for another nice gain.  Took a long around 12:35 for small win. Ended the day with a couple break evens.

12/19 TF Trades


Frustrating morning.  Break even, stop, missed down move, then another break even.  And then finally a nice winner in the afternoon.  Patience is a virtue.

12/20 TF Trades


Okay this was a hard day.  When strong trend days occur they often defy logic.  Market continues in one direction without ever looking back and it becomes better to follow trend and sit back. Unfortunately I did not do this.  I took a short for a stop, another short for a stop, a long for a break even and then a long for a winner to finish the day slightly in the green.  Finishing a day like today in the green is an accomplishment for me.

12/21 TF Trades


Nothing notable.  A couple winners, a couple break evens and 1 stop.  Nice afternoon up trend made my day.

12/22 TF Trades


Short for a winner, break even, and a short for a small winner. Volume very light....

12/23 TF Trades


Volume non-existent.  Tried a long a quick buck and reversed trade short but took a stop.  Finished day slightly in green but nothing exciting.

12/28 TF Trades


Nice morning shorty.  Long around noon for a small gain. 

12/29 TF Trades


No comment.  Brain on vacation on this day. Two trades nothing exciting.

12/30 TF Trades


Nice short to end the year! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

December ES Trades

12/7 ES Trades


Not many trades taken in the morning as the market never presented a short entry.  I suppose a short could have been taken pre-market and held through the open, but I typically do not look to hold positions into the open when trading overnight.  The first entry was around 10AM CST for a long @ 1242 which held the channel all the way to 1252.  Scales were made at 1245 and 1249 and the entire trade removed at 1250 with a break of the higher high pattern.  A short entry occurred at 1:30PM @ 1250.50 and was removed in full at 1246.

12/8 ES Trades


Not an exciting day for trading the ES.  One long entry taken for a 1.5 point loss.

12/9 ES Trades


Difficult day. Short taken early for a stop. Another short attempt for another stop. One final long made up for first two losses and put the ES trades slightly in the green for the day.

12/12 ES Trades


When a trend forms and runs and does not produce an entry it can lead to frustration and mistakes in trading.  In this particular situation, I wanted to get short in the morning but the market never provided an entry. Oh well. Next time. One long taken for small gains in the afternoon was only ES trade for the day.

12/13 ES Trades


Nice day today.  We were given a nice long in the morning. Another small long winner and then a great short entry in the afternoon.  The last order was taken at the channel instead of the dots with a wider stop.  I believe this is justified when the trend is strong enough.  Rather than a 6 tick stop, I have it a 10 tick and was looking for more profits.  The trade worked very well as the market continued to sell.  Scales occured at +4, +8, and +20.

12/14 ES Trades


Nice short in the AM. Quick stop on a long attempt. Another nice short in the afternoon. +10 on the day.

12/15 ES Trades


Just another day of picking away at small winners.  Quick long and then two short setups in the afternoon all for decent profit.

12/16 ES Trades


Quick short in the morning for a small winner.  A second trade in the afternoon for a small winner.  2 or 3 points on each trade.

12/19 ES Trades


A couple beauties today.  First trade of the day was a textbook short.  Shorted 1216.50 with scales at +4, +6.5, and +12.  This was followed by a long for a 3 point winner.  Another short end of day for a nice winner.  Really nice setups.

12/20 ES Trades 


Some days you watch the market move and you are not in it.  I used to chase days like this but through experience and losing $$. If the entry doesn't present itself, I just watch.  No trades other than scalping a couple longs for a couple points.  This was not a trend to fight.

12/21 ES Trades


Nice short in the morning.  Quick long for a few points. Ended the day with a beauty long.

12/22 ES Trades


Not too exciting.  Long for a few points followed by a break even short.

12/23 ES Trades


Christmas trading. Tried a short and took it off quick for a point.  That was all.

12/28 ES Trades


More boring trading. No short entry in the AM. Tried a long for a few tick loss. 

12/29 ES Trades


One nice long on the day.  That was the only trade.

12/30 ES Trades


Took a couple shorts for few points each.  Second short was more profitable in the close.  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Zen Trades for 12/7 on TF


Only two trades today on the TF.  But both were massive winners.  The first was a long which all 3 of our profit targets of 36, 72, and 150 ticks were reached.  The second was a smaller counter-trend winner.  Great day!

Zen Trades for 12/6 on the ES

ES trades are managed with 6 tick stops and scaling targets starting at 4 points.

Zen Trades for 12/6 on TF


All trades are managed with 12 tick stops on the TF, and scaling targets of 36, 72, and 150 ticks.  The entire trade is removed upon a break of the trend.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Trading Philosophy

The concept behind the "Zen Trading" philosophy is a tight stop and large profit targets.  With this type of money management, large returns are possible with very minimal draw down.  With each individual trade, I am risking no more than 2.5% of account value.  My stop is always 12 ticks and my first target is typically 36 ticks.  This is a 1/3 risk/reward ratio on the first target.  Depending on the trade, 72 ticks is usually the second target and the third is held until a break of trend.

More to come...