Weekly Trading Review 12-16th September

Weekly Trading Review 12-16th September

Another okay week. Just not feeling it for the last couple of weeks. Don’t feel that I am doing anything wrong, just do not feel 100% in sync with my system or plan and the markets.

As to my goals, I am taking the opportunities that my system is providing me with and keeping my average trade grade for the week above A.

What did I do best this week and how I did I do it?

On Thursday, took a loss, which was a good trade, then took an okay trade and then followed it immediately with a poor trade. Realised that this could be the start of tilt, took a small time out and then traded the rest of the day with Grade A trades recovering the loss, and ended up down small (up a couple of ticks but down a bit once taking commission into account)

What did I do badly this week and what lead me to do it?

I have just not been feeling it the past the couple of weeks, I have good days followed by mediocre days. No big down days but just small down or under performance days.

I could not put my finger on it, just not in the flow.

What is the problem?

On Friday afternoon, I called it quits and decided I was going to apply the (DADA) decision making process to the problem.

As a reminder DADA, stands for Data, Analysis, Decision and Act.

So the focus is, what can be the underlying cause to my general feeling of the under performance?

Data

From examining my trading journal that I can see that the problem started about just over 3 weeks ago.

In that period, there has been increase in trades that either I have not followed my hypo or missed managed trades that I did not take in accordance to my plan.

Also in that period there has been a decrease in the frequency of my mini plans.

And finally, I have noticed am increase in hesitation when I take trades. This is recorded as an entry in grading system.

Analysis

So what has changed in the past three weeks

a) I have changed my desk around. So that my cheat sheets are directly in front of me. I did this as the bloody things are in plastic pockets and kept sticking to my arm in the warm weather, and getting completely on my tits. So now my main trade plan is off to the left instead of directly in front of me.

b) I added an indicator and rules to my trading system to help with the timing of traders. These where not random additions, I had researched and back tested them.

So no major changes. But and there is always a but.

By not having my trade plan in front of me, it became less of a focus during the day. I can tell this, as the last 2 weeks of trade plans, have a lot less notes and comments scribbled on it then my average trade plan does.

I think that detachment from my overall plan has translated into me being out of sync in what the market is doing, and the increase in number of mistakes in the trades that fit my hypo.

And I think that my increase in hesitation, has been down to the increase in complexity of my system.

I went back over the charts and the past 40 trades that were run under the revised system. Basically I looked at whether it actually helped and the answer is that the majority of the trades, I would have taken anyway with the new rules and the rest were of marginally profitability.

The added value of these new rule where limited and the downside was more decision making and a feeling of stress and confusion.

One of my routines, is that I am feeling confused about what I should be doing in a situation, is to take a break and read my system process from my cheat sheets.

This normally helps but I found that the last 2 times I did it, that it did not really clarify in my mind the process.

I am not sure why I have a reduction of in the frequency of my mini plans. Possibly because I did not feel in sync that I have avoided doing them. I am not sure.

What I am going to do?

It got me thinking about racing, the current boat I am sailing did not a process for discussing the competitors and their positioning around us.

During the race, what the competitors are doing helps decides the tactics but whenever it was discussed, it would result in a rambling conversation for each competitor.

I changed that to a one sentence for each boat, which was sail number (identifying the competitor), whether it was pointing higher, lower or same compared to us, whether it was going faster, slower, same speed compared to us and only if it had changed since last call, the distance in boat lengths using the clock system for direction.

So instead of a rambling conversation, the result was a sentence “Z72, lower, same, six lengths at 5.”

I thought I would apply this sort of thinking to my system. I wanted to strip out the superfluous language, and re write the process so that it was clearer and more defined and focused, and highlighting the highest probability versions of the setup.

My cheat sheets covered 4 sides, including entries and exits, bias and general rules covering trend days etc. Now they are just 2 sides.

The less decisions or less discretionary I can make my system then there is less chance of me fucking it up.

It is important to note that the setups all have a good edge but there are certain times when context and structure line up and these are higher probability. As sometimes, I am fucking around in a good scalp trade and not focusing on the high probability structure intraday swing trade that is forming.

The second thing I am doing is changing the layout of my desk so that the trade plan is once more front and centre. And if the plastic pockets start sticking to my arm then I will just move them. I only check them at certain points during the day and transfer that knowledge to my trade plan or mini plan.

The question is whether moving a trade plan 30 cm to the left can have such a knock on effect. The answer is I do not know but I will make this change and see what happens.

As to the frequency of the mini plans, the simple answer is just get on do them. I know that they have a positive effect on my trading, so I should stop being such a fucking waster and get on with it. Now is not a time to be slacking in my focus.

16th Sept 2016 – Bund Daily Trade Plan

News

1330 us Core CPI 1500 US Mich Cons Exp

Stats

DATR 0.81+

WATR 1.63+

p.WK.50% 164.60

M.50%

Weekly Summary – Bac of Inside Week x 5 lo @ 163.81

Previous Day – Id x 2 (bof of id.hi) hi@ 63.93 lo @62.56 (poss cont bof of brexit low at 62.77)

General Bias SC = 1

Big Picture

60min – Neutral TR, for dir, bac 93.93/92.56

15min – Neutral TR, for dir, bac 93.78/93.04

Neutral Hypo – if price holds/bof 93-98 then shorts t32 t18; if price holds 18-04 then longs t 31 t2 50

Long Hypo – if price bac 93 t 06 t19 bac 19 t33-44

Short Hypo – if price bac 63.04 then shorts t 63.04 t 87 t2 76-70 t3 56

Red flag levels – For short trades 63.93 For long trades bac 56

15th Sept 2016 – Bund Daily Trade Plan

News

0930 UK Retail Sales 1000 EZ CPI 1200 UK IR
1330 US Philli Fed/PPI 1415 US Ind Prod 1500 US Biz Inv

Stats

DATR 0.81+

WATR 1.63+

p.WK.50% 164.60

M.50%

Weekly Summary – Bac of Inside Week x 5 lo @ 163.81

Previous Day – ID hi@ 63.93 lo @62.56 (poss cont bof of brexit low at 62.77)

General Bias SC = 1

Big Picture

60min – Short TR, for cont, exp hold 63.81-93 and bac 62.56

15min – Long TR, for cont, exp 36-30 and bac 70

Long Hypo – if price bac 70 then longs t 81 t2 87-93; if price bac 93 then longs t 19 t2 35-41

Neutral Hypo – if price holds/bof 70 then shorts t 50 t2 36-30; if price holds / bof 36-30 then longs t 50

Short Bias – if price bac 30 then shorts t 03 t2 93 t3 62.79

Red flag levels – For short trades 63.93 For long trades bac 56

14th Sept 2016 – Bund Daily Trade Plan

News

1000 EZ Ind Prod 1330 US Price Ind 1530 US Crude
1000 Ger ZEW

Stats

DATR 0.81+

WATR 1.63+

p.WK.50% 164.60

M.50%

Weekly Summary – Bac of Inside Week x 5 lo @ 163.81

Previous Day – down day with v.strong down close, closed at Brexit low (bof). Stats failed pin bar. Mode downside 62.60 (done) SD downside 62.14

General Bias SC = -2

Big Picture

60min – Short TR, for cont, exp hold 63.01 and bac 62.56, looking for poss LH at 20-30 or 40

15min – Short TR, for cont, holds 20-31 bac 56

Short Hypo – if priced holds / bof 91 or 04 then shorts t 77 t2 56 bac 56 t 34-25 bac 25 t 01

Neutral Hypo – if price holds/bof 63-56 then longs t 77 if price bac 91 then longs t 04 bac 04 then t 20-30; if price holds 20-30 then shorts t 91 t2 77

Long Bias – if price bac 30 then longs t 48

Red flag levels – For short trades 63.93 For long trades bac 56

13th Sept 2016 – Bund Daily Trade Plan

News

0700 Ger CPI 0800 EZ Sp CPI 0930 UK CPI
1000 Ger ZEW

Stats

DATR 0.76+

WATR 1.63+

p.WK.50% 164.60

M.50%

Weekly Summary – Bac of Inside Week x 5 lo @ 163.81

Previous Day – range up day with strong bull close hi @63.69. bullpin stats, follow thru is CT

General Bias SC = 0

Big Picture

60min – Short TR, CPBip, for cont, exp hold 00-08 bac 04

15min – Neutral TR, for t/c to short bac 24, for t/c to long bac 69

Neutral Hypo – if priced holds/bof 64-69 then shorts t 53 bac 53 t 36-24; if price holds /bof 36-24 then longs t 50

Long Hypo – if price holds 53 then longs t 69, bac 69 then t 80 if bac 80 then t 00-08 (both 80 and 00-08 possible IDS short areas)

Short Hypo – if price bac 24 then shorts t 16 t2 11-04

Red flag levels – For short trades bac 80 For long trades 04

12th Sept 2016 – Bund Daily Trade Plan

12th Sept 2016 – Bund Daily Trade Plan

News

Stats

DATR 0.76+

WATR 1.63+

p.WK.50% 164.60

M.50%

Weekly Summary – Bac of Inside Week x 5 lo @ 163.81

Previous Day – ERC Down day with strong bear close. Mbar 64.06

General Bias SC = -2 (OE on the hourly and at 2 sd of the bal area since brexit) Stats say 25% of trend day on monday

Big Picture

60min – Short Bias, for cont, exp hold 64.20-45 and bac 65.53

15min – Short Bias, for cont, exp hold 69-76 and bac 53

Neutral Hypo – if price holds/ bof 53-40 then longs t 62-68 bac 62 t 80 ; if price holds 80 then shorts t 62-25 (alt if price bac 80 then shorts at 00-11

Short Hypo – if price bac 53 then shorts t 41 bac 41 t 27 bac 27 then t 63.07-00 bac 00 t 89-85

Long Bias – if price bac 11 then t 20-30

Red flag levels – For short trades bac 65.28 For long trades 64.48 and then 64.18

Resources for Building a Trade Journal

Resources for Building a Trade Journal

Last week, I posted an article walking through my trade journal, looking at what stats I track and how I lay it out.

This week I am going to go though some resources that I used to learn excel and build my own journal.

Before we start, one of the questions to ask ourselves is do we really need to build own when there are pretty good commercial alternatives. For example, Edgewonk and Tradervue

Pro’s

Learn Excel.

This will enable us to build custom mini journals to track specific data to answer specific questions that the main commercial journals may not cover.

The process of building the journal and learning the formula gave me a deeper understanding of what the stats are actually showing.

It is free. Yay.

Con’s

Takes time to learn Excel and build the journal.

This can be done in bite size pieces but it still takes time. Around the beginning of the year, I re wrote my journal to tidy it up, turn the data into tables and re produced the stats pages using slicers.

That took me 2 solid days to reproduce. So it is an endeavour at times, but that may be just me.

As a home trader working alone, I have to be responsible for so many areas, preparation, trading, review, research and analysing.

Then there is the goal setting, the review of the best practices / processes on top of that.

I constantly find that there is so many things to do, that I have to prioritise all the time, just to get some semblance of work / life balance.

The question is, does learning how to build your own trade journal take you closer to your ultimate goal?

Only you can answer that.

If you are not familiar with Edgewonk, one of the commercial trade journals, this is an excellent alternative to building a journal. Version 2 has just come out of beta and I will be running that in parallel and will do a review of this trade journal down the line.

Read my Edgewonk Trade Journal Review

MFE/MAE Tracker

The one thing that Edgewonk doesn’t track that well, at this current time and that could change with Version 2, is the MFE and MAE as a way of optimising targets and stops and an example of my using this data is in my article How I am using my trade journal to improve my targets.

Trade Journal

I have put a quick video tutorial on how to build a basic version of my own MFE / MAE tracker.

 

Download the Excel file used in the video

Learning Excel to Build a Trade Journal

The first resource I used to build my own trade journal was though a video produced by Adam Grimes in his free trading course.

http://adamhgrimes.com/TAAS/the-course/

I recommend the whole course as it has some excellent exercises in it.

Module 3 has the video in it on how to build a trade journal.

Then the following YouTube channels where essential in learning how to write formula’s and how to use pivot tables / slicers.

MyExcelOnline

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMaVSMuAqV5j9WRdUz9UQfw

Excel is Fun

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCkndrGoNpUDV-uia6a9jwVg

Trade informed

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNVfBUEw7yM7E0eSkhXjZ4A

Google Search

The last resource I used is Google Search. If I could not get a formula or logical statement to work, then I would type my question in to Google and preface with excel. That worked well a lot of the time.

Any questions or requests, please drop me a comment below and I will do my best to help.

Weekly Trading Review 5-9th September

Weekly Trading Review 5-9th September

Weekly Trading Review 5-9th September

Another quiet week leading up to the ECB on Thursday then volatility and a trend day on Friday.

Better focus for the majority of the week, apart from Friday PM. Where I trading when I should not have.

weekly trading review

What did I do best this week and how I did I do it?

Followed my plan, kept to my routines, kept the average grade of my trades above A.

What did I do badly this week and what lead me to do it?

On Friday just before the US session started, I had some bad news regarding an outside matter, which threw my focus. I found I was unable to focus on trading and problem solving.

I knew that I should stop trading as it was unlikely that I would perform at my best. But as this was the first day in a long while that there was decent volatility in the market, I did not want to miss out.

I decided to take an hour out, go for a walk and then mediate and then come back to the market. I normally exercise at this time of day but that routine was broken due to my sciatica playing up.

I came back feeling better and more focused but the issue was stilling playing on my mind. In the end I was down for the day having been up in the AM session.

The positive of this I was did not go full on tilt, I did not take any old set up, I stuck to my process. The main problem was FOMO, I entered twice too early and got stopped out, only to re-enter and get winning trades. This coupled with 2 losses and not a single fill on any of my short trades meant that I ended up with a down day which was just over 1 R.

So not a massive problem, it is not like a blew a weeks or months profits.

What is the problem?

The problem was FOMO, fear of missing out.

Why do I have this problem?

This problem makes a change from my normal problem of fear of losing. I knew I should not be trading and under normal conditions I would not, but as the market conditions have been pretty poor for a while, I was desperate to get back into the deep end.

What I am going to do?

The last time I traded with outside problems, I went full tilt and hit my daily stop loss. So there is an improvement in how I handled this situation.

As I do not have fixed rules in place for when I have outside news that results in my not being able to concentrate. I will change my trading plan to incorporate a routine to follow to ensure that I can trade at my best.

The routine will include taking a break and redoing my morning routine. If my first trade after that has any errors, then I stop trading and repeat the morning routine and if then the next trade has any errors then I stop trading.

9th Sept 2016 – Bund Daily Trade Plan

News

0700 Ger Trade Bal 1400 Ez Eurogroup

Stats

DATR 0.68-

WATR 1.58-

p.WK.50%

M.50%

Weekly Summary – Inside Week x 5 Hi @ 168.02 IW.lo @ 166.38 /.16

Previous Day – ERC Down day with strong bear close. Mbar 65.07

General Bias SC = 0

Big Picture

60min – Short Bias, for cont, hold 12-24 bac 48

15min – Short Bias, for cont, hold 69-75 bac 48

Neutral Hypo – if price bac 75 then longs t 96 t2 07-12; if price holds / bof 12-24 then shorts t 71

Short Hypo – if price holds 69-75 then shorts t 555048 bac 48 t 41 t2 32-28 t3 18

Long Bias – if price bac 24 then longs t 42-50

Red flag levels – For short trades bac 65.28 For long trades 64.48 and then 64.18

8th Sept 2016 – Bund Daily Trade Plan

News

1245 EZ IR 1330 Ez Presser 1600 US Crude

Stats

DATR 0.68-

WATR 1.58-

p.WK.50%

M.50%

Weekly Summary – Inside Week x 5 Hi @ 168.02 IW.lo @ 166.38 /.16

Previous Day – NR up day with close above weekly bal at 65.30

General Bias SC = 2

Big Picture

60min – Long bias, for cont, exp hold 46-33 bac 65.17. NB. Price at 2 sd rot up, 2sd delta, watch for climax and PB

15min – Neutral Bias, for s/t dir bac of 65.67 or 65.33

Neutral Hypo – if price if price holds/bof 65.67 then shorts t 50 ; if price holds/bof 40-33 then longs t 50

Short Hypo – if price bac 33 then shorts t 19 t2 65.12-00

Long Bias – if price bac 65.68 then longs t 76 t2 90 t3 66.00-12

Red flag levels – For short trades bac 65.17 For long trades 65.00