Jan 012017
 

2015 was a good year for me. I really got in to the groove and my equity curve was exponentially growing up. The dotted line is the zero line.  I will block out the P/L amounts but I can tell you it’s not much.

Unfortunately 2016 was not as good. I was very busy with my consulting business, with the family, and with other hobbies, so I didn’t devote enough time to it. Then I had some bad trades and lost interest and never really took the trades to get the curve back up again.

It was a bit discouraging but if I look at my curve over the past few years, from 2014-2016 the results are not so bad. I’m in a drawdown and I just need to get going again to get the equity curve going back up.

My plan for 2017: Remove some of the discretion to make a more repeatable system. Specifically I want to:

  • Have more trades. Currently I’m very selective and then fear creeps in and I look for reasons to avoid trades and end up going weeks or sometimes months without a trade
  • Be less discretionary. I’d like to have some rules to follow and trust the system more.
  • Be more automated.  Not talking about automated execution, just more alerts so I can just verify and push a button and let it play out.
  • Backed by stats in order to have confidence I need some stats supporting what I do.

So I’m going to be working on that for a while.  If I find some good trades I’ll take them.  But this is just a hobby now and my full-time consulting work provides a good income and family time in the evening is precious, so I think 2017 will be a bit slow to start.  This is why the audio alerts are important, I don’t have time to watch the charts.  My zones indicator is really helpful here and I have some other order flow algorithms which trigger audio & email alerts too.

Good luck to everyone for your trading in 2017 and Happy New Year!

 

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.

 

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.