As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago review that I am focusing on 2 areas to improve my trading.
1) Participating in the Futex Price Ladder Training Course, to improve my Dom reading skills and to work on my no fills on the Bund.
2) Working on my confidence and self-belief with visualisation.
Price Ladder Training – Week 3 Progress Report
This week consisted of 2 days of Modules, learning about Fading and Breakout plays, and a couple of full days drills.
The week has been very interesting and the modules coupled with the drills means that once again I am spending a lot of time just watching order flow, and my understanding and more importantly how I would handle the order flow is constantly improving.
What have I learnt about myself as trader this week
I am still implementing the Pomodoro Technique, and I have it invaluable in managing my mental energy during the day.
To the extent that some times during the week, I have found that I have a setup at the time I am required a break. I took the trade but then went straight back into focus mode after the I exited the trade. I found this counterproductive over the day as I started to lose focus earlier. Thus I have to careful of managing my mental energy when the markets are busy, if I cannot stick to the 25/5 mins routine then I must take a short 5-15 mins break when the opportunities allow.
Spoilt for choice – what market.
One of the problems I ha, during the first 30 minutes of live trading this week, was that I had not decided what market was my main market and if I had an opportunity on the 2 markets, which one would I take. I actually missed out on 2 trades due to this indecision about and took one loss due to trading one market whilst focusing on the order flow on other market. I know, that a fucking stupid thing to do.
I still find afternoons hard to read and harder to maintain focus and I am still more likely to do stupid shit. Partly this focus management but a large part of this is struggling to read the market. I have come to this conclusion, as I had a breakout in thinking in the later part of one afternoon and then traded the rest of the session better. I will cover this more in the ebb and flow section.
Still find the choppiness around the VPOC and the algos that operating here hard to deal with profitably. I am starting to develop strategies for how to deal with that, which I will implement on the following drills to come.
Ebb and Flow
One of the points of the all-day Position Drills, is to learn to read the ebb and flow of the market without a chart. If the market is trending, this is reasonable easy to read as we have an overall direction to work with until we reach an opposing area of interest.
The more difficult situation is where the market has no overall direction with lots of decent rotations in various directions but no overall direction. This seems to be a lot more common in the afternoons at the moment. As I mentioned earlier, I had a break though in thinking, it along the lines of the following.
Not every absorption is a point of reversal, that gives a decent RR. The markets are generally fractal in nature, so on direction less periods in the market that each rot is a micro trend in order flow. The market will go in one direction with minor areas in absorption with a few tick pull back to a previous failed absorption point and then make a new extreme, and continue this way until this counter rotation breaks the previous failed absorption and makes a new opposing extreme and this is an indication that a possible micro trend change could be in the offering.
I already knew this to a point, but following it on a Dom, I found pretty hard without an over bias or context provided by a LTF chart. The key for me to following this on the Dom, is careful note taking of the size of the micro rots (to get an idea of strength) and points of absorption that fail / hold.
I do not intend to be holding positions all day in my real trading, as we do in these drills, but the cross over benefit will be on the trade management on the scalp trades as to when to hold or fold the runner part of the position.
Bund and Market orders
The Bund market, when it decides it wants to go, still can be a complete fecking fecker trying to get a fill. The strategies for me seem to be two fold, anticipation which is fine if I have a strong area of interest and have a bias of a level, I can position myself one way and work the best entry I can before it goes.
But some areas of interest are not so strong, or can be front run. After the fun and games, when it wants to go, it can just take off on a micro scale and joining the bid or offer just leaves me Billy no mates and no fill.
This course and drills has taught me that at these moments in time, I have to be better prepared. I need to decide if I am joining the bid/offer or going to market before the absorption is complete, and then do my hoovering over the appropriate bid/offer to join or be ready to go to market. As any hesitation is a killer in a scalp.
Price Action Journal
One of the suggestions from the course is starting a Price Action Journal, I already keep one of these but have changed its focus to deal with the Dom order flow. I have written about this here, and I am already finding this immensely beneficial, just from the few examples that I have.
I would highly recommend that anyone interested in improving their understanding of order flow, is not to focus on screenshots only but a mixture of screenshots and video.
There is a good reason Futex examples are all recordings of order flow and not screenshots, because the ability to watch and re watch at various difference speeds is a real benefit to understand how these set ups work in real life.
This is an example of one of the recordings, where price did not trade my level and was absorbed in front of the level. I did not take the trade as I am still working on how I am going to incorporate the order flow in my current system.
Implementing this into my real trading
On the couple of days of live trading I have done I have started to incorporate order flow into my trading. The first AM session was not great, too gung ho and trying to take every setup without consideration of my system or context.
But I then calmed down for the subsequent sessions and now have a better idea of how to fold this knowledge into my current system. When I have finished my course with Futex, I will update my trading system process to know when and where I take the Futex setups that I have learnt, when do I stick to my current edge only and where I use this knowledge to improve my current edge (basically the no fills or Adeys).
I am continuing my visualisation before the markets open, and the cumulative effects of this are improving my confidence.
For example, when I was trading like a knob on the first session, in previous times it would have taken me probably a full session for this to sink in that I was trading without an edge. Then I would have been fucked off, then anger, and then would have felt less confident for the next couple of days.
This time, I recognised that I was being a complete knob head reasonably early, all trades were graded and were D and E quality trades, I then traded well and then took a couple of losses at the end of the day which did not help my bottom line. But all these trades, graded well A and B’s. And during the whole period I did not lose confidence in my trading nor in my self-belief that by trading well it would turn around.
This is a marked improvement for me.