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.

Weekly Trading Review – Being honest or what the stats do not always tell us.

Weekly Trading Review – Being honest or what the stats do not always tell us.

Weekly Trading Review – 29th August to 2nd September

A bit of a mixed week, overall ended up as a down week.

First down week since the start of June, I have had a couple of breakeven weeks but this was the first week in a while that was actually down. Not a problem in itself.

I have gone through my stats and journal, I cannot see anything that stands out as a problem in my process and actual trading.

Overall I think that this week was not that easy to read or trade and whilst I averaged Grade A trades, my focus and performance as trader has been very inconsistent.

In summary, difficult week, compounded by trader not performing at his best.

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

Preparation, especially for the Month End and NFP.

I had clear and well researched plans, and I traded the plans.

Month end did not work out so well, but it was not for a lack of plan or lack of implementation.

NFP worked well. 1 no fill and 1 winner, which was the 2 trades that I outlined in my plan.

Whilst my daily trade plans have areas of interest, but rarely specific exactly the setup I am looking for and how I am going to manage these trades. My intraday plans do have this information.

I have found that when these plans do contain this information, that when it comes to the end of day review, it makes easier to compare what happened in real life to my plan. Thus giving me data which I can then feed back into decision making loop, and this then improves the plan for next time.

For example, I was running a new trade management scheme for month end. Which was a core position with targets and stops set by the stats research, and then running a position scalping the pullbacks, with its own separate targets and stops.

As my plan had specified the size, stops and targets for both schemes. I learnt valuable feedback about running the 2 trades this way and how I can use these scheme better in the future.

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

Overall this week, I was trading in the B game. I had a hard time keeping focus when the markets were chopping around and found the market difficult to read at times. Looking at my journal and mini plans, the times I found reading the market hard also lined up with the times I was not feeling focused.

My trading reflected that, with more B grade trades and also missing out on some good trades due to un focused approach. What a surprise!

Other times I was extremely focused and during these times, my profit and loss reflected that.

What is the problem

Weekly Trading Review

Inconsistent application of focus and routines.

Why do I have this problem?

Quiet markets coupled with not been fully back into the swing of things. This has been demonstrated by not following my pre market routine and aftermarket routine to the letter.

And with hindsight, the routines I have followed, I have been going through the motions rather than doing them properly for the benefit that provide my trading.

In summary, starting to drift away from some of the routines and habits which enable me to stay focused during the day.

What I am going to do

I know that my performance, and I do not mean my profit and loss, but how I perform as a trader in following my process and staying focused, during the session is largely determined before I even sit down at the computer.

If I am unfocused about what I am trying to achieve that day, then I tend to be unfocused about being focused and trading in my A game.

First thing, is to knuckle down with the routines, and get back to doing them with feeling.

Secondly, I was doing visualisation exercises just before bed. Focusing on how I was going to approach the next day.

I did not do these exercises during my break and did not restart them when I came back to trading.

So I will restart these exercises and knuckle down.

Being Honest and what the stats do not always tell you.

It took me a while to write / rewrite this weekly trading review.

Why?

On the surface, I did my routines, I followed my processes and kept my average trade grade for the week in the A’s.

So nothing to see here, did nothing wrong, just a down week, move along now.

And my trading review originally reflected that, as that is what my stats reflected. But when I started to look back over my journal, my mini plans and what I was actually doing during this week.

I know that some mornings I was going through the motions when I was doing my routines.

When the markets were quiet, I should have been keeping my mental models up to date so I was ready with a plan when the market decided to move instead I was watching videos on Youtube.

Some of my trade plans where rushed without proper thought going into the context and what might happen.

Also at times, I was also fecking around with custom indicators and charts in RT Investor, which is a massive red flag that I am not focused on trading.

So I have to be honest with myself. This week was let down by me. And if I ignore this, then it could turn into a problem and result in taking steps back in my development.

It is very easy to hide and not acknowledge what is happening but the only person this effects in the long run is me. I am lying to myself if I am not honest about my performance.

I have re written the article to reflect what I feel went wrong and this in turn will me the focus on what I need to do next week.

The hard work I have done to find an edge is not destroyed by one poorly focused week. It is destroyed by not addressing the real problems and then having subsequent poor performing weeks.

Weekly Trading Review – Goals Progress Report and Next Steps

Weekly Trading Review – Goals Progress Report and Next Steps

This weekly trading review will be slightly different to normal.

I am due to take my summer break from trading next week, so for the next few weeks, I will be keeping an eye on the markets but not trading or tweeting.

So this weekly trade review, I am going to focus on the following

Where I am on my goals that I set for this time period.

My plan for when I come back to trading.

Progress Report on Goals

At the end of May, I set myself some personal goals with a timeframe of approximately 2 + months, i.e. before I took my summer break.

1. Increase the number of trades per week, whilst maintaining Grade A trades and my process. This was not just a random number picked from out of the air. This was based on checking the average number of opportunities per day that fitted my process, after back checking my market reviews for about 3 months.

2. Increase average weekly return from the trades. This was decided from looking at my current stats at the time and running a Monte Carlo simulation 25 times to get an idea of the return range, if I increased my number of trades. From this I then picked an average of the simulated returns.

3. Increase my expectancy from my trades. This was decided by looking at the MFE of my trades after I exited, whilst looking at the win rate of the first target and second target. From this I could see that I was miss managing a lot of my trades. Basically some trades, the scalps especially on fades again the bias, I was aiming for too large targets, and my trades with the bias I was aiming for too small targets. I did not give myself a hard target for this. Just aiming to increase this.

It is the end of July and where am I.

Trades increased from average of 8.5 to an average of 13 per week. Goal was 12.

The average return per week for the time period was 115% of the target set. No point going into specifics of what the actual target was, as this is personal and does not matter to this process.

Win rate and expectancy at the end of May was 56% and expectancy was 1 tick. Sample size 100.

Win rate and expectancy at the end of July was 66% and expectancy is 2.8 ticks. Sample size 104.

An important point to note about these goals, none of these where actively monitored during the session, and were not the focus of my trading during this period.

I set these goals, but then looked at what I needed to do performance wise for these goals to be the natural outcome of hitting my performance / skills targets.

Therefore, I focused on the following performance targets

Taking Grade A trades

Ways for me to maximise my focus so that I could entry as many grade A trades as possible

Minimising the number of missed Grade A opportunities due to FOL and other focus issues.

Work on my trade management though analysing past trade data and working on my mental side.

These areas were my primary focus and the results from these meant that I hit the other goals.

If I had just focused on the primary goals (the number of trader, return and exp) rather than the performance targets, I am pretty sure that this would be a different story.

I do not, for one moment, think I have cracked this. No, this is just a single step in my journey to become the best trader I can.

And there is still plenty of work to do on the above performance areas.

Next Steps in My Trading Journey

Goals

Over this break I am going to work on my goals for the next time period. I will follow the same process.

Result – what am I trying to achieve over this time period.

Process – to achieve this result, what processes do I need to do have in place to achieve this

Performance goals and Skill training – what performance areas and what skills do I need to work on to be enable me to successfully hit my process goals

Look at weekly performance in terms of process and skills – what do I do well and what could I do better.

Starting trading again

One of my concerns is that I rush back into trading over confident, and make a completely balls up and set myself back in this process.

So my plan is this

For the first week back I am not going to focus on any new goals.

Before I start trading I will read my trading system plan, from start to finish, from pre session right thought to end session. Even though I know everything my heart, I will re-read it all.

Completing all my routines to the letter.

During the session, a focus on only the Grade A trades with no pressure to take every opportunity. Goal will be to ensure that my read of the market is good and I am back into the flow, before actual trading.

Goal for the week will be to have 90% Grade A trades with a focus on what my read of the market is like.

Really the first week back will be a warm up / acclimatisation week.

Winning but still scared – Weekly Trading Review

Winning but still scared – Weekly Trading Review

Weekly Trading Review 11th to 15th July

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

My goal for increasing trading activity whilst staying with my rules, has been hit for 4 weeks in a row. But comparing this against the number of missed trades, there still room, for improvement.

I am using the following methods to increase my trading activity without taking lower probability trades.

First, I am working on increasing the amount of time I can stay focused. This has improved though the following

  1. Taking regular small breaks, basically after every 25 mins, I tend to take about 5 mins breaks.
  2. Spending less time discussing the market in the Stage 5 chatroom. Whilst it is an excellent room, where there is good focus on the markets and good discussions. I do find that it detracts from my overall focus.
  3. Having 2 cups of Bulletproof coffee per day. One at the start of the AM session and the second at the start of the PM session.
  4. Not relaxing after having a winning trade, I do this to avoid giving back profits but overall limits the amount I trade. I have improved on this. But I have found it is accumulative emotion the better I do in one day the harder it is to continue.

    With every winning trade, I become more risk adverse and with every winning day the harder it is to continue in the same vein the next day. See below, in what I did badly, for more on this.

  5. Updating my mini plan all thru the day, helps keep me focused, even when price is far from my areas of interest, and even if the plan comes out very similar to the previous plan. It helps me to stay in the game rather than slip into auto pilot and start getting distracted.

Secondly, defining my 2 markets, the Bund and Stoxx, into Primary and Secondary

Primary Market is where I trade all the levels from my context charts down to the execution charts. (Daily,60min,15min,3min) and trade levels that are blind and require triggers.

Secondary market where I trade only the levels that require blind entries from the Daily, 60min and 15min.

Though I do need to check price action and structure before I let these orders be filled, and I sometimes do not notice that price is trading close to the area, as I completely focused on stalking a trade in another market.

Therefore, I need to make more use of the alert system on my platform, so that when price comes near I can do a quick check whether I want to leave the order in or pull it.

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

My no fill problem is becoming less of a problem in most aspects, more of them are set at the correct buffer but I am still having problems switching to market orders from limit orders on trigger / order flow.

But having collected a sample of 90 trades, the bigger problem is missed trades due to lack of focus or fear of loss. That is the lower hanging fruit at the moment. I will come back to the trigger / order flow problem later. One step at a time.

What is the problem

That after each winning trade and after the each winning day the desire to skip trades becomes more and more pronounced.

Why do I have this problem?

As always it comes back to fear. Fear of Loss. In this case fear of giving money back. This constant theme in my reviews of the 2 fears is starting to get on my tits.

If I could just banish this then it would be great, but it seems not to be the case. So I just have to identify the situations that this rears its head and get on with it with finding solutions.

What I am going to do

I have logical statements that I am meant to read aloud after each winning trade and one that I read aloud after each losing trade. When I do read these aloud, I find that it helps, but I have noticed that I sometimes skip this step, especially after a winning trade.

I think this is my sub conscious sabotaging my methods to improve, so it can stay in the comfort zone. A desire not to do the things that we help me. Well fuck that shit.

So I am adding a tracking column to my trading journal where I will track whether I am reading the correct logical statement after each trade. It will be binary either it is the correct one or it isn’t.

weekly trading review

I know that I respond better to tracking stuff so this should help.

A second prong of attack is that I have re written my setups cheat sheet, so rather than having one for blind entries, one for trigger entries and one for exits. I have just one for entries and one for exits.

This means that I stripped even more of the discretionary side out of the setups.

I have made it even more black and white between what is a blind or trigger entry level and stripped down the trigger to 5 criteria, where 2 have to be present for me to take the trade.

So there should be less discretion between the 2 types of entry and less discretion in what I am looking for when entering on a trigger.

Bund Trade Review

Bund Trade Review

1 Trade, 3 no fills. 1 was at correct buffer, 1 was at incorrect buffer and 1 was a limit order instead of market order.

2 before open London and Chicago.

Spent the whole day in A game the only C game traits was the incorrect buffer and the limit order instead of market order.

Good read and good focus. On the lookout for entries all day. A few no tests and a couple where I broke my new procedures about front running my levels and going to market on order flow.

Correction on #5 says order in at 30, it is meant to say 23, and it was a no fill.

Bund Trade Review

Weekly Trading Review 13 to 17th June

Weekly Trading Review 13 to 17th June

Another interesting problem for me in this weekly trading review. During the week, I had this small conversation with Jared Tendler, the author of The Mental Game of Poker and The Mental Game of Poker 2. Which if you have followed my previous reviews, then I highly recommended these books.

Weekly Trading Review

Using my trader profile, I have a list of traits that I have associated when I am trading at my best and when I trade at the worse. I have been closely watching when I start display traits that are not conducive to my trading, so that I can apply strategies to counter these traits. Which is working okay, but is still a reactive strategy, i.e if I display these traits I then apply a strategy to counter.

But after that conversation, I have started to look at the situations when I slip from my focus zone and A game to B or C game traits.

So that I can then be on the lookout for the situations that generate these traits so that I can start to try these and counter these traits before I starting taken lower grade trades.

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

I followed my process and was again more active in the market relatively to the amount of time I traded (more on this in a moment), and my trades this week had a better win rate and exp.

I had a similar day to last week, where my read of the market was wrong and I blinding followed my process, ignoring my gut that something was wrong. I noticed this a lot early than last week and managed to nip it in the bud earlier. This allowed me to recover by following my process, fairly quickly and have a good end to the week.

After the above conversation with Jared, I looked at all the instances where my focus and my traits slipped from A game to B or C game.

The most common link to the majority of these instances seems to come after I take my break and partly into the afternoon, I noticed that in my day journal that my mini plans become less frequent, that I feel distracted, less focused and tired.

I decided as a short term strategy that I would stop trading as soon as I started to get distracted, the warning signals are reading twitter, reading news items on the internet or general internet browsing, etc. When I am focused, I might check twitter once or twice a session, and never browse the internet.

This result of this was that I did not trade in the afternoon of Thursday and Friday. Overall this decreased my trades per day, by an average of 1 per day over the whole week, but my winning percentage and expectancy went up. Obviously with the caveat, that this is a very small sample size.

One thing that was noticeably that this weeks results whilst positive, where statistically at the top end of my average returns, but with less trades and less sessions on average.

Therefore whilst the optimum result is to reduce these non focused sessions to as close to zero as possible (as an average), the second best option for my results, is to continue to trade as normal, but as soon as I start feeling distracted and cannot get back on track, then I will stop trading.

A quick note to this, I absolutely hated not trading the afternoon sessions for 2 days, made me feel like a loser and a slacker, even though statically it is better for my bottom line.  Which again reinforces that what we want and what we feel, does not always correlate to what is best for our trading.

The next step is to work on a strategy to start that reducing these moments.

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

I am having problems implementing my three things, from last week’s trade review, consistency. I made a start and I struggled during the week, obviously this has not been helped with my focus problems. It is hard enough implementing my known processes when I am distracted and non-focused, let alone add new solutions.

I am going to concentration on the non-focus problem, I am going to still keep implementing these new process, but the first step is to get the focus under control and then see what the consistency of the new process implementation is. And only judge the quality of my implementation of these new processes when I am focused and in the zone.

What is the problem

Early into the PM session, I am starting to lose focus and get distracted which leads to poor chart reading, lack of mini plans and then even poorer execution.

Why do I have this problem?

I have always suffered with this problem to some extent, but have managed to keep it under control by going to bed early and taking regular breaks, so what has changed over the past three weeks that could have a knock on effect to make this a issue.

1) I restarted my fitness programme back in April and have slowly been building intensity and volume over this time as I have gotten fitter. This could be having a knock on effect. As I am knackered after a HIIT session, and that normally effects by ability to concentrate or even hold a pen properly for a good 20-30 minutes afterwards.

2) I used to have a cup of Bulletproof coffee for breakfast a long time ago and I found that it was an excellent way of keeping me focused during the day. But this all had to stop since when I found that milk was adversely affect my stomach and giving my other problems, so have since last year gone dairy free.

After reading this article from a trader at Stage 5 about the benefits he found using Bulletproof coffee. I decided three weeks ago, to start it this routine again but without using diary and only using cold pressed coconut oil.

Again I am having excellent results in the AM session, but could this exaggerated lack of focus, be because I am hitting an energy wall in the afternoon session.

What I am going to do

As I am not sure what the cause of this problem is, I am going to only change one of the 2 things that I have been doing differently over the past 3 weeks.

I am not that keen on reducing the exercise, because this had little adverse effect on my trading in the past, and I was training with a lot more intensity and volume I am now.

The Bulletproof coffee has a positive effect on my AM session, so I am to have a second cup of bulletproof coffee at around 1230 after exercising to see what effect this has on my focus during the afternoon session.

I am not too bothered about the calories, as I never eaten breakfast, rarely eat lunch and have a big fuck off meal in the evening. This has been my modus operandi for the past 30 plus years. So with the introduction of these added calories, I will reduce the portion size of my evening meal to just a fuck off size.

I have also done a cheat sheet of when I should be using my logical statements during the session, along with a reminder of my three new execution processes.

Bund Trade Review – 9th June

Bund Trade Review – 9th June

Overall an okay to good session. Stoxx had a couple of losses and then a good trade followed by a secondary trade which was a good trade. As per my rules I am trying to get in the habit of taking the secondary set-ups, I am taking these at half size until I get into the habit. But a better read of the market than yesterday.

I also have to get out of the habit of doubting my own analysis when I see someone I respect (relatively) on twitter give an opposing opinion. This comment is not a comment on any specific trader or any trader on twitter, and about whether they are right or wrong, it is not, this is all to do about how I respond to opposing opinions and my analysis.

I grade my trades on an individual day, and the average them out to give me an average grade for the day. What I have started doing is grading my performance against the trader profile I did in this post called Working on improving my C Game.

Here is today’s version as an example. I find it easier to track my mental performance, if I score myself every time I start displaying one of the behaviours in my A to C game, rather than on general metrics.

Bund trade review

Bund Trade Review