Monday, December 7, 2009

Screw TradeStation

Apparently TS in their infinite wisdom rolled over to the H contract a week early on the CME Forex futures products so anyone using continuous contracts on their charts (most of us do) your data is incorrect. I wouldn't have caught it if I wasn't using another broker to clear with.

But the tech support is trying to tell me that this is normal and I should trade off the H contract prices - which is dumb because everyone else is still trading the Z contract.

Apparently their "data integrity group" says this is all normal and by the book but i've never had this issue before in the 3 years with them as a client using continuous contracts.

I mean, the H contract has no where near the volume as the Z and yet they want to base the movement off of the H contract instead of something with 18x's the volume? WTF TS?

The tech support guy was trying to convince me that I wanted to trade off the H contract prices... ummm lets take a vote? Who wants to trade a contract trading 11k volume, or the one trading 200+k. I think i'll stick with the one trading the most volume. Or how 'bout just trading the contract that ALL THE OTHER TRADERS IN THE WORLD ARE STILL TRADING?!?! Rollover is the third Thursday of the month (supposedly) so what they are smoking over at TS is beyond me - but its gotta be some GOOD SHIT.

I ended up not trading at all today. I was waiting for TS to address this problem, but seeing as how they aren't going to it looks like i'll be having to manually change all of my chart symbols for a week before actual rollover occurs and change it all back.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

I'm Baaaaaack!

Well after a refreshing piece of vacation with the family its time to get back down to business. I'll be back trading tomorrow like usual from 9-11AM CST. I've been keeping track of the daily outcomes on woulda/shoula/coula and there were 2 days of solid profit on Monday and Tuesday but I probably would've ended up net negative today had I traded.

I'm trying to refrain from "rule building" my method out and stay true to the broad logic it employs which is a big struggle for me. But overall the idea is 100% the same as it was a month ago as well as the management, entries, etc. with only maybe a couple tweaks here and there. But those tweaks are mainly put in place to allow myself the ability to hold some runners a bit longer, or take a second entry on a higher timeframe all using the same entry logic and management.

Ok, here is the other news. I've been developing the blog but i'm at the point where I need to decide on a blog name so I can dig into photoshop and start personalizing a template.

I'm kind of going with the idea of somehow putting a beating to the markets as most traders get beat by the market... so i'm just spitballing ideas here....

bitchslapthemarkets
shankthemarkets

or a completely different avenue...

thetradelifestyle

Your thoughts and input would be greatly appreciated!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

In Missouri - Taking 10 days for R&R

I know - i'm a pansy. There are a couple reasons for the laziness. 1 - It really helps to have an additional monitor for order entry and management and right now i'm just on a laptop. 2 - I've been hitting it HARD for the past two months working long hours and 7 days a week refining methods, throwing them out all together, and getting back to the basics. 3 - its the holidays, i'm with my family, and i'd like to spend it with them rather than in front of a computer.

So I wish you all the best of luck in the pre-thanksgiving markets!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Weekly Update

Well first week back and I finally started coming into my own. I decided to trade only the first two hours (and Fridays till the first winning trade i.e. its 9:07 right now!). Frankly, its got more than enough opportunity for myself, it doesn't get me burnt out, and frees up time for me to do other things. I recently finished reading 4 Hour Work Week by Tim Ferris and it kind of put things into perspective for me. All work and no play makes Matt a dull boy.

I've mentioned this before here but i'm finally starting to do something about it. No more pooring over charts endlessly at night, during the day, trading for 18 hours at a time. It makes me a crabby bastard that no one wants to be around (including myself). Two hours, get in, get out, live life. If you are interested in reading the 4 Hour blog (its my favorite blog out there) check it out here: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/.

In other news I really started pulling the trigger effectively and making some progress. I didn't knock it out of the park this week. That's due to 1)letting the bigger risk trades (that alone were worth +600.00/per this week) go and 2) being a pussy earlier in the week. But when it was all said in done I made more money this week than I have in 6 months? Maybe all year? Best thing yet? The stats.


18 Trades, 98.10 in commissions (YIKES!), 8 wins, 8 pars, 2 losses, -31.25 in negative slippage, an 88.89% win rate, and 12.26% account growth.

Next week i'm out of town in Missouri but i'm going to be trading from there (i think) or I may just take the week off for the holidays. Either way i'll update you.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

New Equity Highs

Traded real poorly today, missed out on an easy +300 this morning AT LEAST. Took a couple other trades for some profit and called it a day at 11AM. The more and more I trade the more and more I feel like I just want to get in, make some money and get out with that profit and call it a day. Two hour work days? I don't know, but i'm certainly working towards that. This is a intense occupation and it requires a lot of focus. Trading for 6 hours a day is doable but it isn't pleasant. So trading less is something I am considering. Not to mention I think 80% of the moves in the FX markets happen by 11AM CST and the 20% that remains into the afternoon is hit or miss most of the times. I like efficiency and if I can be more efficient by working less (and making more) then its a move for the better.

But what I wanted to talk about was that a lot of my poor performance this week hasn't been from bad trades - its been from not pulling the trigger. And a lot of that comes from being back live for the first time in a long time. Confidence isn't at its peak yet and so some of those entries just seem SCARY. The only way you get rid of that fear is by getting in on those trades and building confidence. So slowly but surely that's happening.

Even with my craptastic performance this week - here is the equity curve thus far. Pretty good direction I think! Up +9.6% so far this week.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Hai Guise!

Allright, we all know by now that i'm a shitty blogger. My trading career has been all over and back again in the past few months but i'm back at it after some huge changes in my trading.

However, rather than start back up here with the same old same old, i'm going to be creating a new blog on a new website to discuss not only my trading outcomes, but my progression, ideas, and branch out into a lot more non-trading topics. I like cars, travel, cool things to waste discretionary income on and random useful info. While that content will take the backseat to the trading posts this new creation is not going to focus purely on trading, but more on the trading lifestyle.

Hopefully it will show progression in my career and life and the interaction between the two.

I'll invite you all over to a temporary holding domain until I decide on something to call it all. But I can't do that until its built, and so that's what i'm doing as we speak.

I hope to have more for you soon!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

CME Tick Data Changes

Allrighty, so on the 5th, the CME started reporting more granular tick data. Oh joy! In a nutshell from the marketdelta crew:

:: Summary ::
The CME has begun “unbundling” some ticks/trades that were previously being sent as a single tick. From inspecting charts of the ES, it appears that the net result of this change is that approximately 2.5 times as many ticks or trades are being sent on average, WITH a much smaller average size per trade. The change does not effect the volume, just the number of trades (more trades with a smaller average size).

:: Here is what it means and what you will begin seeing ::
1) More Tickbars: If you are using tickbar charts, you will start seeing approximately 2.5 times as many tickbars per day as you were before because there are approximately 2.5 times as many ticks per day. The CME claims this will give the user a more accurate tickbar picture.

2) Slower Backfill: Backfill or downloading of historical data will take longer since there will be more ticks/trades to download.

3) Larger Database: The amount of the space in the database required to store a day of tick data will increase. Thus, the time it takes to backup or verify the database will increase.

4) Fewer Big (large lot) Trades: If you are filtering trades based on volume (in Time and Sales windows or using the Volume Breakdown indicator), you will see fewer large trades since many of these larger trades have been replaced with a few smaller trades. This change is rather substantial. The number of large trades (> 199 lots) per day on the ES dropped from approximately 1800 to approximately 400.


Now where my input comes in is with the adjustment needed to alter your current trading timeframe to the new adjusted timeframe. The TTM folks came out and said "multiply by 2.5x's" so a 233T is equal to a 582T but like most things out of the TTM folks, it sounds easy, simple, and sassy, but delivers nothing but epic failure. So I did my own analysis using a barcounter in TradeStation.

Taking the last 10 days prior to the conversion and finding the average amount of bars per day in two different timeframes I had been trading and comparing them to the average of the new amount of bars post October 5th the following results were collected. I then adjusted the needed increase in ticks until similar results were found.


What I found was that the conversion was between 1.5X's and 1.75X's as much data to correctly convert your old timeframe to a comparable new timeframe. But without any doubt it certainly isn't a conversion factor of 2.5x's as was suggested by others.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Lets just say, I screwed up a bit.

Meh... as the blotter shows... I made a number of mistakes today... mainly holding for my targets. I had more than ample opportunity to make this a profitable day and I just screwed the pooch.


Good news is this... a recent change in my approach is going to allow me to share my entries with you and my website is going to be reformatted to provide free educational content and only sell the indicator software for Ninja and TradeStation to make the entries easier. Bad news is I spent hundreds of man hours creating a members section and video archive of educational content that i'm now throwing away. Yay for me!

But more on that to come in the future. For now, all you need to know is that I found a dog and I screwed it today. But i'm making the market my bitch tomorrow.

For what its worth... traded correctly today shoulda woulda coulda been a
+290.00/per contract profit and a 92% win rate.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

First day, screwed up.

Day started off fine, took two trades in the NQ. One went to its profit objective at +2.5 points only to not fill and come back and stop out for +1 tick. A second par trade also stopped out for +1 tick. So far so good. Textbook setups, good execution and management. Then I took a loss in the TF and got slipped a tick on exit for a -7 tick loss. Then the screw ups started. I completely missed a textbook winner in the TF for +7 ticks and then ended up getting long into the market on a setup that wasn't valid. I bailed on it after realizing it but not after taking a -2 tick loss. Not a horrific mistake, but a mistake nonetheless.


All in all, what should've been a par day got turned into a losing day and it had nothing to do with the approach and everything to do with me screwing it up. First day back jitters and lack of focus I suppose.

Trade Results:

NQ: +10.00
TF: -90.00

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Going Live Tomorrow... Again!

Sorry its been so long (I sound like a broken record with that phrase lately) but everything is finally taken care of and i'm ready to go. I'm not trading today due to FOMC but i've got the money in my account to trade the TF and NQ. So what i've done is this...

I took 3 timeframes that I really preferred and gave me the most trades out of the 9 I typically monitor in both the TF and the NQ. I'm doing this for two reasons. 1. Cut down on the charts I have to monitor and attempt a more simple approach to make the days (and overall results) much more clear cut. 2. There are some of my "longer term" daytrade charts that rarely give me signals. Therefore, i'm wasting a lot of screen real estate for something that isn't paying me nearly enough to justify its use.

So why trade the TF and the NQ? The idea behind this is simple, to use them as a hedge against one another's performance. I assume that every market has a set amount of probability in its winning and losing trades, however I can't control when and where the drawdowns are going to occur. So the only way to minimize my overall drawdowns on my account is to hedge out that risk by adding a new market. The idea being that while one market may be performing poorly, the other is performing well negating the effects and minimizing (or eliminating) any account drawdowns. The problem is this: The NQ is still fairly heavily correlated with the TF (or any other US market) so its more of a pseudo-hedge if anything but I am going to trade it regardless.

Ideally I would like to use the currencies as a hedge here but TradeStation's margin requirements on Forex futures are ridiculously high. But for example, last week the TF was horrendous for me. I lost a total of 300.00/per contract over the entire week and there was just nothing for me to do about it. It was the worst performing week i've ever seen in the market trading this method. That's just how the trades fell. But if I would've just been monitoring the EC on a 5 minute chart there was +562.50 of textbook profit in that market during the same trading hours as the TF during the same week. So in effect by monitoring an uncorrelated market I was able to hedge out the effects of a horrible week in one market with a great week in another. But until I can get into the Forex futures markets the NQ will have to do!

The idea behind this little experiment is to get some real live results to show the validity and profitability of the results using this approach. Backtesting can only prove so much. Its being able to perform at the hard right edge that defines a trader as successful or as a failure.

So to anyone still around reading this... i'm back along with this blog. Thanks for sticking with me and I can't wait to get the journey started once again.

Cheers!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Back from the Sticks...

Well i'm sorry its taken so long but i'm officially back after a much needed "vacation" (which consisted of me working 10x's harder throwing together pre/post wedding preparations together).

I should be back at the screens starting tomorrow and get this blog back to daily updates. I've got some neat stuff in the pipeline and I hope to be posting some TF trades in the coming week on here.

I hope you all are doing well and I appreciate anyone who actually still checks in. Lord knows I haven't really given anyone a reason too. I've just been in a fairly big transitional period in my personal and professional life and had a lot of things going on. But its all been building towards an all-out assault on that goal list that is getting ready to kick off in a few weeks.

In fact, now that I think about it, I just finished up one of my goals on the list... I created an LLC and am now the CEO of Synergy Trading Group LLC. Thats a start right? One down, four to go!

Cheers!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Leaving town...

Sorry for lack of updates as usual, but this week I took it pretty light... had two scratch days, didn't trade Wednesday (FOMC) and I took Friday off. I'm taking off in the morning for my sisters wedding and i'll be taking a vacation from all of the trading work i've been feverishly working on over the past two months.

A lot of hard work, a lot of time and effort spent, but it is really paying off in my trading and my business and i'm looking forward to building on my results for the rest of the year.

Big things are right around the corner! Good luck to you all trading in the coming weeks!

Monday, August 10, 2009

A Losing Day

Not by much... just 1 tick. Went up +3.75 on the first trade, gave back -2.5 on the next, and -1 on another.

The first one was a perfect setup, the next two were so-so... but i'm focusing on just trying to take everything that comes down the pipe for the time being to establish a baseline.

Overall... not bad I suppose.

Trade Results:
NQ: -5.00

Friday, August 7, 2009

Day 2 is Better!

Caught a sexy little setup for +3.75 today in the NQ. So that brings us up to +135/contract growth in two days, three trades, and a 100% win rate. It doesn't sound like much but when you consider its being done on a 1000.00 account - that equates to 13.5% growth inside of two days.


I'm not trading the afternoon on Friday as usual. But the real story is the TF which I desperately need to get my account up to margin for. Two trades today, up 400.00/contract. Daddy wants. But for the time being baby steps I suppose.

Hope you all had a good day.

Trade Results:
NQ: +75.00

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Day 1 Live

Not much to write home about. Two trades, 1 Par, 1 2X winner for +2.5 points. Pretty darn boring day.

There was a easy trade for +5 in the NQ that I passed on because it was testing the daily low when the signal occurred and I prefer to avoid setups around the day's highs or lows. In my opinion it involves another group of traders that would otherwise be uninterested in the setup. You get all of the action from people just fading the move that you wouldn't normal see. Not to mention, that the pit knows that their are people fading the high's and low's of the day and they love to step in and stop run at those places so I just skipped it all together.

Catch you all tomorrow!

Trade Results:
NQ: +50.00

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Fair Disclosure...

Had I been able to trade today it would've been a losing day. -2.25 after one par and one loss. Lately the NQ has just been kind of crap and in a sort of "drawdown phase" right now. Good trades come back by a tick to take me out at par before running, others just lose, but the winners have been fairly few and far between if i'm honest. The TF on the other hand continues to hand out free money like its the only thing on its mind. +380/per in that bad boy. I need to get some more money in my trade account so I can say goodbye NQ, and hello TF!

I called TS and apparently my account was on a default "margin call" because I had removed almost all the money from the account last month and was just using it for charting. So they reset the account and i'm good to go for tomorrow.

"Order Rejected"

So I tried.... but my DOM keeps yelling at me that i'm a loser, and it doesn't like me and saying things like "Order Rejected". Apparently TS has me on restricted margin or something because they sure as hell won't let me trade the advertised margins.

Don't know what the deal is but we'll see if I can't get it sorted with customer service this afternoon.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Live Tomorrow

Now or never right? I've got a paltry sum back in my TS futures account but enough to get me a few at bats in the NQ market. So I figure - what the hell, lets give it a shot worst case I get knocked under margin after a few trades until I refund with a bit more money. I've been doing quite frankly, amazing in the TF for weeks now (I still haven't hit that losing day just yet) and I see no reason why I can't have similar success in the NQ. It won't be easy, but i'm well prepared and i've got an approach that is about 10 X's better than anything i've ever used. So its put up or shut up time.

I fully expect to have lots of losing days, mistakes, and losing trades going live but I KNOW that I have probability on my side if I apply my rules correctly.

So lets find out. See you tomorrow!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Another Par Day

Not quite sure how it happened as typically i'm up or down with a couple of trades but there was only one trade I got into and it was a par. There were other "signals" but they all kind of blew away so I passed on them.

I'm really trying to work on taking the best opportunities rather than every opportunity and I think its helping a lot in my trading.

However, today brought our 1 week experiment to a close. I think the results are very realistic (and they certainly represent the actual trades offered up the past week). Was everyday a huge winner? Nope. Was any day a huge loser? Nope. Some days were better than others, losses occurred, wins made up for them, and pars were scattered in between. But overall the method remained consistent.

Did it produce 10 points a day? No - but it wasn't designed to. It takes whats offered in the most consistent and probable manner and with a heavy focus on low risk situations and getting to par in a very conservative manner.

The end results were this:

Wednesday, +340/per
Thursday, +90/per
Friday, +70/per
Monday, +210/per
Tuesday, +0/per
Wednesday, +0/per

This represents a 3550.00 increase on the $25,000 account in 1 week or a 14.2% increase. Our win rate was well north of 70% and all of the trades were done using relatively small initial risk factors on purely intraday trades and small timeframes.

Is it perfect? No. But it represents the best method i've ever come up with.

Cheers!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Worst Day So Far

Took a -100/per trade in the morning, a couple pars mid-day then caught a small +70/per in the mid afternoon and took +30/per out of a trade to the downside into the close at the end of the day. That last trade only got to par and was coming back up when I exited at the close of the day. Net +0.00 before commissions.

I'm just glad I could come back from a fairly healthy loss in the A.M. and not end up down that much by the end of the day. Alls well that ends well ya know?

Cheers!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Another day anotha dolla...

Another relativly straightforward day in the TF. Three trades, an early scalp for +70/per, a midday par, and an afternoon rocket for +140/per. Total outcome was +210/per contract or +1050.00 on the 25k account trading 5 lots.

I'm trying not to be too encouraged and keep my head on right. There is a long way to go and after all, this is only sim. After that winning trade on Friday morning their would've been a losing trade for -80.00 to take me to +70 net on the day had I traded out the afternoon. Still - not horrible results here and its positive equity growth every day thus far.

I've got enough money together to refund my futures account and start trading the NQ to get my feet wet again in a live fashion. Hopefully i'll be able to use that account as a learning and demonstration account in the future to show results. However, for some reason my TradeManager analysis window won't pull up orders input throughout the day so i'm going to have to figure out some other way to present real trade results from this experiment on the website. I'm thinking maybe just a page showing the trades in the order and fashion that they came along and the potential for them if they were managed correctly. (Obviously i'd love to have an order statement to show... but TradeManager seems to do this to me every once in awhile where it decides it doesn't like me and won't show me my trades. Hopefully it corrects itself magically in the next couple of days!)

Anyhow - I'm planning on getting back to live in the NQ next week hopefully and i'll be sharing the live results on this blog with you all. Thanks for checking in and I hope you all are doing well with your trading!

Friday, July 24, 2009

I'm Not Dead

Website is planned to launch end of August so I can be out of town for my sisters wedding and not have to worry about customer support and fixing little bugs, etc. during the little vacation.

This week i've been focusing on getting some results of the software traded in real time. So i'm trading this on just the TF everyday and trying to get some baseline results on a 25k sim account. I'm trading 5 lots so it would average out to 1 contract per 5K which I think is very conservative and realistic leverage. I'd still like to have (and will have) some live results as well but I think the CFTC disclaimer states that I must show hypothetical results in my advertisements so for the time being i'm sticking with my little sim account.

I am making a big effort to get realistic fills and take EVERY trade that comes down the pipe. Its fun to be back in the trading chair, and even more fun to actually be making money (even if its on sim for the moment). Its a feeling I haven't had in years. Anyway, the results so far are pretty good. I started on Wed. and made 340/contract on 4 trades, and yesterday walked out with 90/contract after a few pars, a loss, and a couple wins. Today i'm up 150/per contract on one trade. Overall though in two and a half days i'm up 580/contract or 2900.00 on the account.

Not great maybe, but i'm really just trying to show consistency and not getting beat down even when the market doesn't give much opportunity with runaway trend moves like yesterday. It still shows 11.6% account growth inside of two and a half days thus far and I think that's not too shabby. This, and only 1 losing trade so far.

I'm just going to trade the morning today (like usual on Fridays) and then take off for a movie and lunch with the fam. Enjoy your weekend folks!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Trend is a Lie.

You all saw it coming with my last post... I think that the trend is a lie, or at least not helpful to most traders. So whats the big problem with the trend?

First, the trend is BY DEFINITION LAGGING INFORMATION. For there to be a trend it has to have already occurred before you can define it yes? Then you are chasing lagging information, and typically doing so using more lagging information (i.e. moving averages, momentum oscillators, etc). This compounds an already huge problem even more. Whats the other issue?

The trend requires YOU to define it. You can give 100 traders an identical chart and each one of them will define the trend on the chart differently. Some will use market structure, others MACD on X setting, some using MACD on Y setting, and almost all using some combination of X, Y, and Z moving averages. So now not only are you trying to define lagging information, but you're trying to do it in a manner where your opinion is supposed to be the one the market respects. Guess what? The market could give a shit about you. Cold hard truth I suppose but nevertheless true information.

Would you agree that most traders focus on the 20/50/100/200 ema's because they figure most other traders watch these same moving averages? Which means what they are really trying to do is fix the problem of having them define the trend for themselves (because they recognize the futility of this) and figure out what the market (or at least the greatest majority of players in the market) is using to define the trend. But this isn't the biggest problem.

Then you have those trend traders who do great on the runaway trends but get NAILED as soon as sideways consolidation happens. Most cop out by running to another indicator in an attempt to filter bad trades. Others run to the "define the type of day" defense as if its possible to figure out what type of day (trend or range bound) will follow after the first X amount of time passes in the market. Seriously? I think most of us who have traded a while understand that at any point in time ANYTHING is possible. The worst chop in the morning can turn into a massive trend day, and the best trend day can stop and coil sideways for hours. To suggest that we can accurately define something that BY DEFINITION has to have already occurred to be defined ahead of time is bullshit.

Can anyone tell me what the rarest type of day is in the S&P 500? You win an e-high five if you answered "Straight trend day". Most days are range bound most of the time. We all know in the back of our minds that a straight trend day is an exception rather than the rule. As traders we should really try to identify the rule rather than the exception... but most don't.

But the problems continue when we start to look at the actual mechanics of entering a trade based on lagging information. If the trend must have already occurred (at least partially) to get confirmation to enter the trade (MA crossover, stochastic flip, etc) then price is typically already a pretty far distance away from where it was when the actual trend started. This leaves us entering into the market at an area where price is usually already at another decision point in the market. The difference being that by entering now we are going into battle with a much larger amount of risk (we have to put our stops down where the trend started if we don't want to get stopped out) but whats worse is we are going into battle at a turning point in the market with open risk on our position. The smart traders are able to get in where the trend actually started and go into this same turning point battle with their stops at par. Which would you prefer?

Then there is the simple logistics of what you are asking the market to do for you. Lets say you're a smart and savvy trader that knows they need to achieve 2X their initial risk or better on a trade to make their account grow. Good idea. Problem is that the larger your initial risk, the larger the move you need the market to achieve. So if you are entering with your larger initial risk based off your lagging trend information you have to ask the market to go much further in favor to get a needed outcome. By contrast if you were able to get in where the trend started you could use so much less risk that the market has to achieve relatively small goals to get you out of your trade with 2X the risk or greater. And the truth is it is much more probable for a market to move a smaller distance than a large distance.

And most traders can't figure out why they lose money? Most traders look to identify the trend and get trapped into this vicious catch 22 where the odds literally are stacked against them. The trend may or may not exist but the point traders need to realize is that whether it does or does not exist, it isn't profitable to try and define it.

Still want a moving average on your chart?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Is the "Trend" is a Lie?

This blog has become freakin' boring hasn't it? Its all my fault I know. But i'm working diligently to get things done and i'm back trading everyday. I'm starting my Project400 experiment next Monday. Until then, i'm on sim with MB Trading trying to get used to their order platform again and all the quirks of their different orders. In new website news i've put the roll-out on hold for the time being. The website is done, 110% functional, and the content is ready to go for the most part, though its not fully rendered yet (i've got 60+ hours of video rendering to get through). But i'm not going to rush a course out into the real world with people spending real money on it if I can't be sure I can offer them something of value.

I think I can of course but I want to make sure so i've been in contact with various traders getting feedback and we all basically come up with the same conclusion. Results are needed and I couldn't agree more. Project400 should help somewhat but I am not pushing the roll out forward until I have personally been getting consistent results for at least a month. In the mean time, i'll post up my day-to-day outcomes on this blog for you guys to read about.

Onto the provocative question of the day. Think about it today, and i'll give you my opinion tomorrow. Is the "Trend" a lie? We all have heard "the trend is your friend until the end" but is it really true? How many successful "trend" traders do you know? What are the potential problems with trend signals? How would you define you're risk? How would you get out?

I have a sneaking suspicion the idea of trend is a false catch 22 that wipes out thousands of traders accounts each year. What do you think?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sorry for lack of updates!

A ton of stuff going on guys! I've been building the new website and its coming together great. But i'm such an anal retentive freak everything has to work just perfect and look just right so its taking longer than it probably should've. Right now the entire site is built and functional with content, galleries, newsletters, blogs, etc but I just started the actual members video content today and am only about half way through.

In other news i'm also migrating accounts back over to MBT. I'm starting a little thing for the website called "Project 400". I'm going to see how quickly I can double a 400.00 account on 10k lot sizing. So i'm not actively trading this week as the funds get pushed around from account to account.

I figure a lot of traders don't want to use a ton of capital to start trading and building a small account like that with relatively tame leverage and margin would be something worth showing.

Hope you all are still trading great! I can't wait to get back to the charts... way to many tasty moves in everything right now!

Cheers!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Way More Available Than I Took

This morning was just a lot harder to trade than yesterday. The movement just wasn't there. Don't get me wrong - there was plenty for the taking, but in comparison to yesterday it wasn't quite as good. I actually only took two trades today, 1 par, and 1 win. There was a couple great trades in the EURUSD after I quit but I finally got my domain name and hosting set up last night so i'm swamped with development right now and am taking the rest of the day to work on that before I go to the Country Club.


In other news, yesterday was my first day back at my old job. And I gotta be honest... I had a blast. I got paid to bullshit with some nice gentleman, drive around in golf carts on a beautiful evening and hang out with some of my best friends. It got me out of the house and doing something social. A good thing any way you slice it.

Trade Results:

Forex: +15 Pips

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

2 Hours, 76 Pips, Done Deal

Today I was by no means infallible. I took losses, pars, and wins over the 10 trades I placed from 8:50 CST to 11:00 CST. But it was an excellent day to trade and I feel gave very real world results. Days like today really cement home the need for proper risk:reward. So this is how the trades broke down: 5 Wins, 2 Pars, 3 Losses, or a 70% win rate. But here is the really cool part, my losses were: -5, -6, and -7 pips respectively. In some cases, they were simply the spread minus my entry price. My wins on the other hand went like this: +12, +16, +17, +19, +30. As you can see the wins are clearly much much larger than the losses i'm taking. Its the kind of stats that make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

Here are some of the trades... I tried to include the charts with the most trades (wins and losses) on them.




Now i'm off to eat some lunch, watch some Wimbledon, and then go to work. Cheers!

Trade Results:

Forex: +76 Pips

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

10% Account Growth in 40 minutes? Yup.

Ok, so its easy to do when you've got a 90.00 account I suppose, and you don't have to factor in the psychology of a 90,000 account, but still... growth is growth. Not to mention I reigned in my sizing to 2,000 rather than 3,000. So the profits are even smaller. I haven't posted in awhile since my last price action presentation and I wanted to share what i've been up to. I've been working feverishly on perfecting my price action indicator "Synergy". I've also been working on improving a couple of the setups to make them even higher odds, primarily focused on taking trades that can achieve a 2X target rather than just getting to par. The best part is I think I came up with some really cool stuff.

And I should get this out in the open right now - I am planning on launching a web site offering my indicator and method for sale within a few months. I know, i'm a douchebag right? The simple fact is this - I posted my webinar content a couple different places and got swamped with emails and messages wanting to know where they could get the indicator from and more information on the approach. I feel that there is a market for it, and i'm not going to charge what I feel is an outrageous price, but a reasonable amount even a cheap ass like myself has paid for other indicators before. I see no reason why I should feel guilty about trying to make a little profit off the work i've put into it. And before you honest and trustworthy followers mutiny on me - massive discounts if not outright giveaways to all of you who have been posting comments on this blog all along. You guys are the reason i'm still around and I see no reason why that shouldn't be rewarded with everything I have to give.

But lets get another thing crystal clear - I am a trader first and foremost now and always. My primary goal has been and continues to be becoming a consistently profitable trader. I can make exponentially more trading than I can selling a few indicators a month and I recognize this. Furthermore, i've no aspirations of helping others learn to trade if I myself am useless at it. But this has only forced me to step up my game even more. Yesterday I made a paltry 1.5% on my account - BUT it was growth via textbook trade setups. Today i'm up 10% so far. What I have spoken about before is becoming all the more apparent - this stuff works with my application and i've only just begun. Its too soon to pop champagne but i'm happy with what i'm seeing thus far. But enough boring life aspirations...

Three simple setups today, two winners, one par, +52 pips. The first was a GBP short off my new IB Fakeout Trend signal for +22, and then a long in the GBP off a Synergy setup on the double bottom it formed. The last was a inside bar reversal short in the EUR that got taken out at par. Simple.



*Edit* - Make that 15% by lunchtime!!! the GBP is being too easy this morning!!! Pinbar S at prior highs. Simple +20 pips. Net +73 thus far today.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Busy Day Pre-FOMC

Setups have never been so plentiful, so powerful, or so profitable. You know that giddy feeling you get in your stomach when you really feel like you can make money trading? Typically that feeling is followed by massive losses in my accounts. Hasn't been the case with this price action nonesense just yet. Why?

I think it is a combination of a lot of things, but primarily: Taking trades at decision points in the market (i.e. S/R), using proper risk:reward for the first time in my life, NEVER fighting the trend, letting actual price action tell me their is something amiss at these decision points before I jump in, and getting in MUCH MUCH SOONER!!!

More sim trading today... the Oanda platform really isn't too ideal for placing buy/sell stops accuratly. Open E Cry is far superior but for the time being, i'm with Oanda. I had TONS of trades today and really got my pure price action goggles cemented into my head even moreso.

I continue to be staggered by the amount of good trades offered. And when I think about where I would be getting into trades using my old methodologies it isn't suprising I lost money constantly.

Heres a new video I made going over a live trade I took as I was making it and then explaining more of the trades I took this morning. I've spent the last night trying to tweak camtasia so I can give you all high quality, high resolution videos. So many trading videos on youtube and other sites may have good information, but if you can't tell whats in the videos because its too small and blurry whats the point? Especially when we are dealing with small price action signals, clarity is important. I haven't perfected it just yet, but I think you'll find its a vast improvement over even last nights presentation.

Video Down. Making a UBER webinar to be released in a bit.

And after receiving some questions on pinbars I thought I would do a quick video on the mechanics behind pinbars and how and where to use them on your charts.

Video Down. Making a UBER webinar to be released in a bit.

Thats all for today... Its FOMC as we all know so things are bound to get a little nutzo in the next hour. I'm planning on going live with this on my tiny Oanda account next week. Until then its just practice, practice, practice!!!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Video Update Outlining New Setups

I wish I would've blown out my account months ago because i've learned more in the past 48 hours than I have in the past 48 months.

I've been working crazy amounts of time developing an all inclusive Show Me indicator that could cut down on backtesting and make it very easy to not only scan markets but visually see at a glance potential trade setups. As I mentioned previously i'm focusing on pure price action entries around areas of support and resistance or pure trend entries. I'm putting a definitive effort on truly getting 2X reward on every trade - something i've never done before in my life.

The craziest thing about trading pure price action for me is how simple it really is. I had avoided it like the plague because I never wanted to put in the time to learn the setups and how and why they work. I was content to complicate my life with indicators.

But once you make that initial effort they are simple, they are everywhere, and i'm really able to get into trades with less risk than ever before. I used to wait for price to do X, Y, and Z on the indicators to get me into a trade. By the time the move was "confirmed" and I got in price had typically already made one hell of a move. This usually meant I was caught on the wrong side of the market once again and stopped for a loss. The best signals are the ones that occur right after the rejection where you can get in as the move builds from its point of origination. If you aren't in there - you aren't in soon enough.

It truly is a completely different mindset to anything and everything i've ever done before. But its so simple. I think the biggest difference in this approach is the avoidance of counter trend setups and the reliance on using prior S/R areas to define and qualify price action setups. I don't fight the trend anymore. I took so many great little IB Fakeout moves today with the trend it was crazy. I had 1 of 7 that didn't work. As far as the prior S/R is concerned with double bottoms and double tops i'm amazed at how often they coincide with price action setups together at turning points.

One of the other big things that I feel makes a huge difference in the approach is the idea of being the contrarian with these setups. I don't mean contrarian in the sense of shorting a rising market or randomly trying to catch tops or bottoms, but the idea of waiting for the market to fake people into doing just that, and then taking that group of traders money. I've never done that before. I did it a shit ton today and it easy as hell. Except I had always been on the other side of that equation. One of the things i've always heard is that the pros are always the contrarian point of view. I just never knew what it really meant or how to apply it.

The video is 10 minutes long but its well worth it. I feel like this is the most substance and profitable advice i've ever presented anywhere to anyone. I'm trying a new video host that should avoid the bandwidth issues I was having as well as being fast, free, and able to show HD quality.

Here's a new better quality video link as of 4:45PM.

Video Down. Making a UBER webinar to be released in a bit.

I thought I was going to have to hold off and only trade 60min/240min/Daily time frames but its just not the case. I think I can be just as effective and profitable trading the lower timeframes as well. For now, i'm doing it more for exercise getting used to the setups and can see myself drifting towards longer timeframes for bigger setups but i'm content to trade small and fast for the time being.

Monday, June 22, 2009

The Focus

Small update. Just wanted to mention that the real stock trade that I went with (DRI) is still active with a long position from 33.54 in my demo account. The other play KIM was off a speculative idea I was messing around with but ended up scrapping. DRI is off of that intraswing S/R test idea i've been working on, with the trend.

My focus is on trading pure price action setups. I feel that's where I need to develop my skills and kill my reliance all together on indicators (save for maybe 1 MA). So i'm focusing on inside bar fakeouts, pin bars, and my fakeout signals for potential trades. The other thing is that i'm going to be slowing down the action. 1 HR, 4HR, and Daily charts for me for the time being. I stumbled onto http://www.learntotradethemarket.com which focuses on trading pure price action in the forex markets and ironically enough he uses the same idea i've been developing (he calls them fakey setups). But the main thing is that his setups and trades are the kind of stuff I want to exploit. I am planning on signing up for the course as its relativily inexpensive and its building on concepts and ideas that seem sound. Check out his youtube channel here for some of his trade ideas... I really think they have merit. http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=OzTrader&view=videos

So, other than that, i'm just in rebuild and relearn mode for the time being. I'm not live in any markets (including Forex) and won't be until I can cement a method down without relying on indicators.

If you guys know of any other good price action trading resources let me know!

In other news, there were no valid trades based off the scans tonight for equities tomorrow.

Positions:

DRI @ 33.54, Stop 32.25, Target 36.81

Sunday, June 21, 2009

What i've been working on...

Ok, so as you can well imagine i've been a busy little kid planning my next moves. I want to get a lot of this stuff nailed down and finalized before I start work in July which gives me one more week to do just that. But before I go into any of that - THANK YOU TO EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU WHO LEFT A COMMENT ON MY PREVIOUS POST!!! The comments were heartfelt and sincere and went a long way towards reinforcing the positive aspects of my current situation rather than dwelling on the self-perceived negatives. This is a new opportunity for me plain and simple. And it sounds like a lot of you have been at these kind of spots in your lives and the key is to just keep pushing forward. So onto the broker debacles.

Last week I took all of my money out of TradeStation and they called back promptly wanting to close out my account. I told them I had already paid them hundreds in commissions this month and the next months data and platform fees should be waived regardless. So it gave me a month to migrate to a new platform. Putting 99.00/month towards their platform (no matter how accustomed i've come to it) is ridiculous for someone in my situation. But I have a copy of Multicharts and its almost the same thing. Furthermore I found out that I can open up a Mini-FX account (250.00 minimums) with Open E Cry and get free data (Including tick and volume) for all the currency pairs and nearly every futures contract you can dream up all for free and no platform fees!!!

Best part? Multicharts can use the data stream from Open E Cry which means I can essentially keep the same charting and workspaces and simply feed them data from elsewhere for free. Also, I can use their "Free Quotes" for charting daily and weekly timeframes for stocks as I pursue swing trading equities.

On that note i've been searching high and low for good low-commission equity brokers that have low account minimums. I have an account with TD Ameritrade but at 9.99 a side its too expensive when you consider the size of the trades i'll be putting on. I stumbled onto SogoTrade which offers 3.00 flat fee commissions on trades, 500.00 account minimums to open and all the features I need. Since i'll probably only be putting 500.00 or so into the positions i'll be buying the 6.00/rt isn't too ridiculous. This is more to get my feet wet and mess around for the time being. So what strategies am I pursuing?

Well I do plan on using the ChannelingStocks.com site for a 1 month trial run and see if I can't find a simple way to utilize their picks and my analysis but for the time being i'm not starting that service yet.

I've been focuses HEAVILY the past week on developing the "intraswing support/resistance" idea I was talking about. I really feel that my best bet for success is to keep my risk parameters low and aim for 2:1 returns. The only way I can realistically do that in my mind is to try and find swing highs and lows so I can have a defined stop and risk.

So I put on my EasyLanguage pants and started coding up my ideas. I came up with some really cool stuff and the best part was yesterday I figured out how to modify the code so I can just pull up a list of 500-1000 stocks every night in the scanner and be alerted to the 10 that put up potential trade signals that day. I am also going to cross apply this to the forex markets and use big scanning windows on different pairs and timeframes to search for trades.

My big idea is trying to find essentially candlestick patterns that identify areas within a swing where buyers or sellers are interacting and one side has clearly tried to push lower or higher and failed to do so.


Heres my scanner window right now with the stocks that fired off one of the two signals i'm looking for on Friday. Now this scan is of the entire S&P 500 and these were the only ones with signals. So its fairly selective to begin with. But added to the mix is that fact that i'm only taking signals that are following trends (H, HL, L, LL, or DB/DT's) and I look for one more secondary indicator to confirm they swings are at extremes and I just generally check that the swing is fairly smooth and concise. Of these 20 that fired off potential entries, only 2 ended up to be valid trades.

Trades for Monday:
Long DRI @ 33.54

These prices are at the close on Friday, so technically I would just be buying them at the opening prices on Monday.

I'm using this same strategy for the Forex markets intraday as well and i'll be posting up outcomes in those markets starting Monday.

So to recap, i've been a busy little beaver. I've put my ideas into code, expanded on them, backtested further, and created a rule set around them. I'm focusing on these types of trades only and not anything else I have used prior.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Throwing in the Towel

If you've got 10 minutes to devote to reading this update please take the time to do so.


Today marks the occurrence i've been fearing for the past six months. It ended today. I promised my parents when they offered up capital to get me above margin requirements back in January that I wouldn't put their capital at risk. Over the past six months i've gradually drawn down my accounts in a slow and steady fashion. Today after taking another loss in the NQ I called it quits. I canceled my real time data feeds for the CME and withdrew my parents deposit from the account to hand back to them with a "Sorry, and thank you".

I'm planning on keeping my account with tradestation open and pay the 99/mo for the platform and use their free forex data. Starting next week i'll be going back to my old job working at a country club as an opportunity to make some cash. I will still trade forex on an experimental and small (i.e. my 100.00 account) basis in the mornings during the weekdays and work afternoons and evenings at the country club.

My sister is getting married in August and I don't want to go out and look for a "real" job knowing that I would have to ask for two weeks off days after taking a position with a new company. Furthermore, the country club offers a unique networking opportunity to bounce career ideas off of successful people in different industries and in some cases line up job offerings. In fact, I got my job at TD Ameritrade a couple years back as a direct result of cleaning the golf clubs of the former CFO. Its a deadend job but it pays well and will give me a little bit of income, sun, social interaction, and networking that's probably been overdue for sometime now. Furthermore, I need some time to plan out my next moves.

Let me make this very clear right here and now. While defeated, I am NOT giving up on this dream. I know its possible to make money in the markets. I've seen people do it. I've traded with some of the very people that follow this blog and seen them do incredible things with their equity curves. And to some extent i've had a taste of success personally. For myself, I have to simply rationalize the last four years of my life devoted this career as finding 10,000 ways how not to make money in the markets. However, i'm still in search of that one way that will make money.

As far as possible interim career choices for me i'm really at a loss for pursuing anything in finance. While I have a degree in finance, investments, and banking every job opening in the field where I live is for "Financial Advisers" which to me is basically a fancy way of dressing up a used car salesman and giving him life insurance and crappy mutual funds to shove down the throats of others rather than kicking the tires on a used Chevy. Not for me. I've seen what these people have done for my parents - which is why I fired all of them. So that's out. I'm actually thinking maybe about some kind of pharma rep. Something that i'm not stuck in a cubicle all day and I can get out and interact with people.

If you all have any ideas or recommendations for potential jobs to pursue please let me know!

So how does trading tie into this plan? Great question. The first thing I have to come to terms with right now is that any 9-5 will kill my ability to trade as I know it. At best it would be scaled back to Forex markets after hours and that's not really a prime time as far as i'm concerned. Here are the other ideas i'm considering after I get capital re-established.

The other idea i'm considering is to start back swing trading equities. Back in the day I used a service called ChannelingStocks.com. The idea being they gave you a list of stocks each week that basically would just ping back and forth between support and resistance levels. Now back when I traded with these picks I didn't know how to spot reversals and confirmed bottoms. I knew even less about risk:reward, momentum, and stop placement. The big thing they always said on the site was make sure to wait for the stock to reverse. Back then I had no idea what this really meant.

So today I took a look at a couple of their more recent picks from the last month and pulling up a daily chart of the three symbols yielded very easy entry methods by either 1) Waiting for a "Scalper" alert to confirm the bottom or 2) waiting for a fast HMA to cross over. Basically stupid stuff that if you stayed with the trade until the HMA flipped yielded some nice gains over a month period. And it wouldn't require me to do anything more than check charts once a night. Furthermore, there are lots of automated pattern scanning websites available out there for free so the idea of just looking for trades like this on a swing basis kind of appeals to me.

The other idea is to start up with Bright Trading and some of their "Pairs Trading" courses. I have a friend who has been trading with them for almost a year now and as far as I know hes been making consistent money every week since he started with them. But the course is pricey and Bright requires you have your Series 7 to join.

Here comes the most important part of this post. Thank you to all of you who read it weekly and commented over the past six months. Its been an emotional roller coaster for me and without the feedback you all have given me I probably wouldn't have lasted as long as I did. I wish you all the best and luck in your current and future endeavors.

The blog will stay alive and I wish to continue documenting my trial and error attempts at becoming a professional trader.

In truth its actually a bit of a relief. I can't tell you the last time I stepped foot in a mall, went out for a beer with friends, or enjoyed a movie. I have spent the past years avoiding all unnecessary expense and living like a monk in hopes of figuring this out. But it became a Catch 22. I would go treat myself to a movie, or a night out with friends as soon as I got profitable. But it never happened. All that did happen was me spending even more time in front of the charts and me missing out on the more important things in life outside of the screens. So this break is a needed one - if not simply for a mental rejuvenation and a way to find more balance in my life. Success in one area shouldn't mean utter failure in another and unfortunately i've let that become my life.

So the moral of the story is this: Thank you for watching. I'm only sorry I couldn't provide more insight into the markets and profitable ideas to apply in your own trading. I've not failed at this but merely found way too many ways that didn't work.

Down but not out.

Cheers folks,

- Matt

Monday, June 15, 2009

Down in Forex, Pars a plenty in NQ

Took a relatively small loss in the Forex markets today and four pars in the NQ. Over the weekend I did testing on longer timeframes in the NQ and ES and am now trading charts similar to a 5 minute timeframe. My goal is to try and filter out the noise and get the bigger, stronger moves that will pay me better. This should cut down on comissions significantly, choppy trades, and trying to trade for ticks rather than points.

More in depth explanations available in the video. Its short at 5:51 and recaps the trades of the day and talks about the timeframe change in more detail.

http://www.screencast.com/t/XQI0Pu04h1

Trade Results:

Forex: -21 Pips
NQ: +0.00

Friday, June 12, 2009

+29 pips... or $8.70... wtf?

So I went live today in FX and ran into the reality of margin I hadn't quite planned on. For some reason in my tiny little math confused brain I thought I could come in here with 100.00 and be able to trade 10,000 lot size with 50:1 margin. Durrrrrr no I can't. I can trade 3,000 lot size.

So I traded this morning, took some good entries, all winners and walked out with 29 pips after an hour and half. And on 3,000 lot size that is... 8.70. Saweet! But lets think about this in terms of percent return for a second. After the paypal fees the actual deposit was $97.80. Which means my 8.70 profit was actually a 8.8% return on the account. Not shabby I suppose.

In the future i'll add more funds to it so I can up the size buy for right now I think its probably a really good exercise for me to trade with this small size and see what I can do. No sense adding funds to an account that I can't grow. I need to be able to prove a distinct change in my profitability in both my futures accounts and my Forex account if i'm going to move forward trading.

Have a great weekend guys!

Trade Results:

NQ: +0.00
Forex: +29 Pips

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Up in FX, Down a smidge in NQ

Not a bad day, things were much choppier in the currency markets than yesterday all out directional slam fest. Took some pretty nice losses early in the day but kept with it and made it all back and then some. In fact, I had 4 losses in a row this morning... one winner erased them all. Thats the kind of stats I want to get behind. Ended out the day with +46 pips.

In the NQ it was not a bad day (ended down a point) but I just didn't get fills on 90% of the moves and the ones I did get in didn't really go anywhere and at the end of the day I caught a smaller loser for -1.5.

I am getting much better on the execution of these trades and the analysis. I had to work out kinks the hard way earlier this week with losses to figure out I needed to relax stops, and focus on the good directional moves, but i'm getting things nailed down. Furthermore, the currency markets are proving to be really good practice on the entries, management, and analysis in getting me back on my feet.

4 days of losses isn't anything i'd brag about - but if it was for a purpose and it taught me something its fine by me.

Trade Results:

NQ: -20.00

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Quick Update

Got nailed hard in the futures today. A stupid idea to try and limit risk ended up costing more money than it was worth. GIVE YOUR TRADES ROOM TO WORK. Lost enough to limit me to the NQ only for the time being.


In FX land walked away netting +187 pips today. Yup. While on sim, the fills are as real as they can get in forex unlike some futures account simulations. If I could do 1/10th of that each day i'd be stoked. Just waiting on my account verification to start funding.

Video is high resolution (close to 1400 X 700) but relativly short (8:05). Make sure you click the "Full Size" button at the top of the screencast page to view it correctly so it doesn't look janky.

Link deleted due to bandwidth concerns.

Trade Results:

I don't want to talk about it.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Papa Got Camtasia

I finally got Camtasia studio so I can finally embed videos and share them with you. The video is 21 minutes long. I know. I'm not that interesting.

First couple minutes are a daily recap of the action and signals, the opening of a new Forex account and then I delve into my new "discovery".

Probably the most "DUHHHHHHH" discovery I could ever share with you all. But its enough to get me back into the signals and methodology I was using at the beginning of the year.

You get a e-high five if you actually making it through the entire video without punching your screen or thinking "why won't this douchebag stop talking?"

P.S. I promise my other video updates (baring break throughs) won't be nearly as long. It took damn near a half hour for this video to render on my laptop!

Link deleted due to bandwidth concerns.

Cheers folks!

Trade Results:

ES: -62.50
NQ: +0.00

Monday, June 8, 2009

Day 1

Another video update and explanation of trades taken today.

Link deleted due to bandwidth concerns.

Trade Results:

ES: +0.00
NQ: -80.00

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Video Update + My New Method Explained

I decided to do videos tonight for the first time. I finally got my mic working and thought i'd give ole Jing a try again and get some videos explaining updates on this blog, my deadlines, profitability, etc as well as my new found discovery which i'm trading from here on out.

This came out of the blue, it goes against everything i've ever looked at or tried but I like it, its consistent, it works and its going to be my winning method from here on out. Oh yea, and i'm going to share it with you all.

I recently started reading this blog http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/. I highly recommend checking it out. Its from author Tim Ferriss of the "4 Hour Work Week" and while some of the blog is focused on business, marketing, traveling, random pen tricks, it was just a really good place I stumbled onto when I was depressed after having a losing streak on monday prior to this discovery. Reading a few of his posts on mental performance, stories of overcoming opposition and making the biggest discoveries in the 11th hour really got me back into it.

I may fail at this profession this time around - but i'm going to give it hell for the next two weeks and either rebound or go out with a bang. I've got nothing to lose and everything to gain. Stay tuned.

Part 1: Update on blog, my deadline.
http://screencast.com/t/VXAYRnTU

Part 2: The new discovery - Intraswing S/R.
http://screencast.com/t/AlGRsnvfRq3

Part 3: More examples.
http://screencast.com/t/z0DKYdZleA

Please give me feedback on this methodology!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Blah Day

This week isn't going to end with positive P/L. I'm willing to bet on that fact. But what i'm not going to do is start running around with my head cut off screaming "I need a new method". The method works... I just haven't had a lot of good signals. Methods have drawdown periods, and that's a fact of life. I think far too often traders (and especially myself) take periods of drawdowns in their equity curve as a signal to jump ship and look for a better mouse trap. Not me, not this time.


So anyway, onto the action of the day. Took a good slew of pars and then got short in both the ES and the NQ around 12:40. The NQ gave a "get to par signal" and I flattened the position for a small loss (-2 ticks) and then a couple minutes later the ES did the same by literally a hair forcing me to take a -2 tick loss in that market as well about two minutes before it caved to my target. But I traded it correctly and at the time things were feeling stagnant and uncooperative so i'm ok with the outcome. I flat out missed this nice trade in the NQ good for +3 while discussing the grocery list with the fam. Pee'ved me a bit because it was a great signal but the reality of trading is you can't and won't catch them all for whatever reason.


Anyway - again, not a day ripe with opportunity for my method but even in the doldrums I didn't get chomped to pieces. We'll see what tomorrow has in store for me.

Trade Results:

ES: -25.00
NQ: -10.00

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Craptastic Conditions

The day has been absolute shit. I mean... if you were ever wondering what chop was? Its was this morning. The market just slammed around from swing high or low to swing high or low and it would get going in a hurry show good momentum and then just stop on a dime and reverse. I don't mind if a market stops at a swing high or low, that happens... what bugged me about today was that it would stop and just reverse so quick and hard I had to take losses bigger than normal. Typically markets consolidate a bit at turning points and allow me to get out with small losses.... not today.



My method just doesn't work well on days like this where there isn't follow through. Look at the 5 minute chart if you need further proof. No direction. No structure even. I didn't get killed today, but I didn't make money either. I had strings of losses, pars, and only a few wins. From a management standpoint everything was good except for exiting a bit early one my one winner. My initial target was at +3, and I ended up bailing at +2.25 because I thought she would stop and reverse just like every move prior during the day and something was better than nothing at this point. So holding for targets is something I need to work on a bit more but other than that I did well managing trades.


Forgive the pictorial madness... but I just wanted to visual explain what I was dealing with all day... the sharp reversals, the constant double topping, the crap.






In many cases if the market does anything in favor, even if it can stab through the swing high or low I can deal with that and reduce risk if not outright get to par. But today it was just a lot of perfect double tops or bottoms with sharp failures that hurt me more than usual.

Is this the fantastic start to this method I was hoping for? Not really. But overall... I can't say i'm too disappointed considering the conditions this morning. I haven't seen price action like that bad in months. While I didn't do stellar, I didn't get nailed too hard. This afternoon I caught some good moves once the tapes livened up a bit. If anyone has any ideas on indicator confirmation to identify these periods of no interest vs. when there is good movement in the tape please let me know!

I am not upset with the final P/L considering a couple things... 1. How many losing trades I had. 2. How shitty it was. 3. How few winning trades I had. 4. The fact that at one point during the day I was sitting down -285.00. 5. I took an "Initial Risk" loss, or a loss at a stop that is put there for worst case scenario emergency purposes due to a nasty quick reversal. 6. I had twice the amount of losses than I did winners (6 Losses, 3 Wins, and 2 Pars.)

Trade Results:

ES: -12.50
NQ: -125.00

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Tough First Day

Well the first day was a hard day. Straight trend directional days are hard to trade. They just grind higher but do so without any real momentum. All the time games are being played at the high of the day to fade it lower. I think all of us have experience with this. Every new pop higher is always fighting people fading the moves and the pressure of having to make new daily highs every swing. Because of that I only got a couple trades that got to their targets today. I kept buying this thing all the way up and was rewarded along the way with a barrage of pars and a couple losses in the ES.

The trades went like this in the ES: +2, -1.25, -1, +0, +.25, +0. The NQ went: +2, +0, +0. Overall there were 9 trades, 2 real losers, and 7 pars or winners (78% win rate). I like those odds. I also like that the winners were bigger than the losers and the losers on average were pretty tiny. I think this is all good stuff.

I had a rough pattern to trade today (professional gap fill and go grind) and more losses than profit trades and I still ended walking out with more than I walked in with. Not a massive start, but a solid one that I think proves the validity of the approach.

Here's a couple of the trades that went. You'll note that a lot of the par trades were working, they just weren't getting to profit, and some of the losses were low ticks out of positions that did work overall. Just par for the course. I'll be back tomorrow for more!





Trade Results:

ES: +0.00
NQ: +40.00

Friday, May 22, 2009

Why Wait to Start?

I figured I know what I need to do to make money so why wait until Tuesday? I woke up with a plan to just give the first hour a shot live and see if I could get a trade to get my feet wet and take the "edge" off of going live with this. Wadaya know... 9:02 comes along and gives a nice little signal. I paid up 2 ticks for my exit (didn't need to in actuality but i'd rather get filled for 95% of my profit target rather than get par for holding for the extra 5%). Three minutes of work and a respectable profit in NQ standards. Easy peasy.


Like I said... I'm going to really enjoy the hell out of this weekend. I hope you all do as well! I really think big things are going to be coming soon and those goals are going to get knocked off after all.

Thank you everyone for your continued support!!! Awais, Michael, Stan, daytrader233, mtcx2009, Scalpwiz, Jason, and all the Anonymous viewers out there - I truly do read and use everyone's advice, ideas, and encouragement.

Trade Results:

ES: +0.00
NQ: +70.00

Thursday, May 21, 2009

I finally cracked the sombitch

Four Years. Yup, it took me four years.

Sorry for the lack of an update but I had a fairly interesting yesterday and had bigger things to do. As I previously had posted I was back to trading the setups I was in January and I had made small changes. My problems were (as always) my risk was fairly large and my reward was limited by the Keltner Channels as I was typically getting in above the midline. To top it all off I still could not quantify why some of my trades worked so well and others failed and stopped almost instantly.

Yesterday I cracked it. No really... I know I always say I have great ideas and its works and yada yada... I sound like a damn broken record half the time but I really did break the little bastard. The one setup i've been staring at and obsessing over for over four years now since my mentor first taught it to me. My mentor had always told me that our entries were best when momentum was with you. Until now I had tried everything to try and quantify when I had momentum with me and had failed. I was barking up the wrong tree to say the least. The answer is so much more simple and elegant.

I'm now getting in on entries where the markets are really moving in my favor and the profits are coming quickly. Most entries take little or no heat. My losses on average are under a point and are typically between 2-3 ticks. On occasion I will catch a loss for 1.25 or something but its never that big. And why is this? I'm getting in when there is extreme momentum in the market. Now this wouldn't mean much if I kept averaging my 3-4 tick "wins" and I would continue down the path to inevitable failure sooner than later. But my wins are 2-5 points on average.

Yesterday for example I netted 6 ES points on three trades, today i'm up +5.5 on two trades, and +4 in the NQ on one trade. There are only a couple a day (I like that) and they are SOLID more often than not. I can't tell you how relived I am and excited to know that I finally figured out the riddle.

I know I sound like bullshit. Hell I feel like its bullshit when I type this. But the truth of the matter is that I finally quantified the secret to making it work for me. Admittedly these gains have been on sim and I know that counts for shit but these entries were real. They were there, I took them, and I managed them perfectly. No interpretation. No Bullshit.

I can't believe how simple it is and how I could've been so blind. Honestly... Next week I will make more money than I ever had before on this blog. Period. No really, I will.

The entries from thus far today...





Enjoy the long weekend (I know its only Thursday). For the first time in years I think I really will. I just feel like a weight has been lifted, that all the hard work and obsessive hours have finally paid off. Is it too soon to celebrate? Probably. I haven't truly proved anything to anyone just yet and I realize that. But i'm going to starting Tuesday. So please check back to see if my claims are worth anything.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Day 1

Lots of blow away moves and entries that wouldn't fill (twice in the NQ) but overall I took what was offered and that's all I can do. I had a nice entry in the NQ and while I didn't get tons out of it, I took the correct exit and the fact that it launched to the moon without me is irrelevant. Who knew that was going to happen? Was it probable? Not really.


I got into one ES setup that failed later in the day and it cost me -1.5. Oh well. Shit happens. I have to call it a day an hour early today due to a dentist appointment.


Better luck tomorrow lets hope.

Trade Results:

ES: -75.00
NQ: +40.00

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Test Went Well

I made an extra effort to make sure I was getting real fills on all of my entries and exits today while in sim. The results from the day were not huge gains, but three trades, three winners and +120 bucks in profits. Like I said, not huge... but things were working how they should've been. This system is basically like what I was trading in January with similar price patterns and entries but use different management, stops, and exits. I think the end result is a much better overall method. It seems to be very consistent and I obviously have no trouble trading it (as I was already trading a derivative of it in January). So i'll be looking to go forward with it from here.


I can't discuss the actual trigger for the trades as it is a copyrighted entry method from my mentor Austin at Coiled Markets but i'm more than happy to discuss the management and exits. Nothing fancy here. I'm using a standard setting Keltner Channel to establish places to get to par (when price trades into the channel) and to exit (when price closes outside of it in succession). I recognize that this doesn't allow for massive winners, but it also reduces risk and gives me places to take profit. More than that, this management is much better in keeping me in the trades (rather than bailing before the move) than my management in January and getting out with profit more often than hoping for a rudimentary fib target to be hit (if you recall in January it rarely was).


Overall i'm pleased with this and I feel it represents my best chance at making this work. After all, lets not forget the ONE AND ONLY TIME I was making consistent money trading since the inception of this blog was in January when I was trading essentially the same thing with the fore mentioned difference in management or exits. I can't laugh at that or discount that fact so i've chosen to embrace it. My movement from that method was my undoing and my equity curve has taken a dump since then.

Time to get back to what works for ME.

Lets make some money this week!