Aug 232015
 

I was replying to a post at BMT and I looked for an example chart to use in my reply, so I googled about volume composite and clicked “images” and took the first chart.  When I pasted the link, I was surprised that it was one of my charts from my blog!  That reminded me that I have a blog!  I had kind of forgotten.

I can’t believe it’s been over 1 year since I last posted to my blog.  So I thought I’d take a few minutes to write an update.  A couple years ago I accepted an exciting consulting offer to redesign the architecture for a bank.  It’s been a great experience for me.  It’s also about the time we had our son.  Between the two I haven’t had much free time.  I stopped participating in forums (except once in a while someone wakes up an old thread and I get an email notification), etc.

But I still kept on trading.  I did get very selective with my trading and only trade when I’m home and the markets are moving.  This results in less trades, but it has been profitable.  I have a profit for last  year and this year as well.  So I’m happy about that.

A week ago I had some time to think about all this while laying on the beach in the Cote d’Azur.  I wrote out a list of goals for myself.  I want to win $1 SNG (poker) (I’m currently slightly better than breakeven for $0.25).  I want to redo my CV for my consulting in order to offer more services to my clients such as Agile Coach.  And then I thought about trading.  What do I do about trading?

My trading partner is taking some time off and when that happened I scaled back a bit too.  I miss many trades which is a shame because I see many that would have qualified as a setup and paid off nicely.  I felt like I was letting good opportunities pass me by, and with a little more attention I could turn it into a serious income.  So I added trading to my list and decided I wanted to make $500/month consistently.  Once I achieve that I can scale up to 2 lots.

In the past when I was trading full time I was trading 2 lots and was making money but unfortunately it wasn’t consistent.  So a few years ago I decided to accept less and go for consistency.  And a few years later I think that is the right approach for me at this time.  Kids have activities, I have a weekly class, and I help out a lot around the house.  So I had to refine my method to make it more hands off.  Typically I set up audio alerts in my areas of interest and wait for the market to come to me.  Then based on what I see, I choose to enter a limit order and go about my activities.  It’s a compromise, but it allows me to trade evenings in addition to my full time consulting business and my family.

So now I think it’s time to step it up a bit.  I want to be less passive, take a bit more risk, but most importantly, not let perfect setups pass me by.

If there is interest, I will update my blog with my results.  I’m not really interested in promoting myself, advertising my blog, posting on forums, etc.  I realized that was a hobby but not really a business.  Well some shady characters have succeeded in turning that sort of thing into a business, but I prefer not to go there.  Time is limited.  Since I’m profitable, any extra time I have is either spent trading or doing hobbies.  I’m still not sure playing poker for 30-40 minutes to make $1 is worth it, but it’s fun at least.

So if you’re still here after all these years, let me know.

 

 

 

 

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May 302014
 

April was a good month for me so the challenge was to keep it up for the month of May.   I thought May gave me less to work with.  It seemed the market balanced in the last half of the session more often.  Many days I didn’t even look for a trade.  But I still managed to do ok.  My goal is for a profit factor > 2 and this month it was 1.78, slightly short of 2 but still good.

Yesterday I had bad luck, stopping out by a tick and missing a nice run up:

2014-05-30_2127_thursday_loser

I followed my setup perfectly so I didn’t get upset but I was still disappointed.  Today I got a chance to take another good trade and this time it worked out.  It’s good to end the month on a great trade:

2014-05-30_2128_friday_winner

So there are two examples of trades I took.  I’m trying my best to detach myself from the results and just take my setup and follow my rules.

And here are the May results:

2014-05-30_2147_may_results

I’ve been pretty much keeping to myself.  I collaborate with my trading partner but other than that I don’t participate in forums, read trading books or websites, or anything else.  I don’t even think about trading.  I just turn on my monitor when I get home, look for a setup, set an audio alert in an area to do business, and go about my evening activities.  I initially felt this  “hands off” approach might be inferior than staring at the screen for hours “getting context” “reading the bars” “seeing the action” and all that stuff, but now I think otherwise.  Being detached has helped me to stick to a simple setup and just grind it out.

I actually only took trades on 9 days this month.  The rest of the days I either didn’t see a setup, or was not around the house due to my activities and being taxi for the kids.  $250 isn’t that much but with consistency I can slowly increase size.  And that’s where this gets interesting.  But one step at a time.

Good luck to you with your trading.  Cheers.

 

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May 012014
 

I went to update my blog this morning and saw that it hasn’t been working for a while.  That was a bummer because I wasn’t aware of it.  So that’s fixed now.

After some nice time off it was difficult to get back into it.  March was spent more observing the market than trading.  And in April I got back into a daily (well almost) trading routine.  There are a few days of the month that I can’t trade due to other activities.  I’m still trading in the last 2 to 2.5 hours (depends on when I get home from work).  I managed to take trades on 8 days, that’s about half of the days in the month considering I was gone the week of Easter for vacation.  Many days I was “trading”  but didn’t get a valid setup.  I need the market to be moving for me to enter on a pullback, so days where it was balanced I would not have a setup.  Overall I’m pretty happy with this and will continue exactly the same strategy for May.

Here are the stats:

April Stats

I’m very happy with the stats, which were a major focus for me.  I want the avg win to be at least twice the avg loss.  And I’d like the profit factor to be above 2.  A bonus is having a win rate near 50% because if the win rate is lower that’s harder psychologically.

My targets are 2:1 on the risk.  In many cases I could have targetted a specific price which would have given more profit.  But I’m doing it this way because once I establish consistency with 1 lot then i’ll add the 2nd lot and will target a specific price with that one.  So all I’m counting on is that the first lot with 2:1 is profitable so I can increase size.  I’m not looking to maximize profit on this first lot.

And the list of trades:

April Trades

Notice that I’m trading 100% NQ.  This was a big change for me and it took some time but for the type of pullback entry I’m looking for, NQ is a better fit.  When I get to trading size on NQ I imagine I’ll have to seriously consider going back to ES but for now NQ is fine.  It has lower multiplier so less $ at risk and that helps psychologically.

In writing this I realize that this trading journey hasn’t been straight forward but rather a few steps forward and a few steps back.  Some months many steps forward and some other months huge steps back.  The decision to do full time consulting had a big impact on my trading, as well as the slow grind up, etc.  Conditions change all the time and I’ve been slow to adapt.  This is why late last year I tried to simplify and go back to basics and come up with a method that will work in the most market conditions and most importantly, learn to identify when it won’t work and sit out.  This has been a big accomplishment.

I do my analysis and if I find what I’m looking for I set either a limit order or an audio alert in my zone and then I walk away from my PC and spend time with the family.  This takes a lot of emotion out of it.  It reduces chances of me getting sucked in and placing stupid trades.  Some days my limit never fills or my audio alert never fires.  Some days it does.  The income (or loss) is very small compared to my consulting income so there is no real pressure to trade or make money.  If I don’t get a trade it doesn’t bother me.  I only want to take good setups.  One at a time.

As I said, this is a big change and I’m happy with the results so far.  Let’s see if I can continue it in May.

Good luck with your trading.

 

 

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