my journal 2

This is a discussion on my journal 2 within the Trading Journals forums, part of the Reception category; I'll answer as I read. Yeah, the pizza guys. Those prank calls are amazing. And at the end he says ...

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Old Feb 12, 2010, 4:26pm   #271
 
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Re: 6 rational trades

Yamato started this thread I'll answer as I read.

Yeah, the pizza guys. Those prank calls are amazing. And at the end he says "dismissed". These pranksters are real artists.

Yeah, I liked your video as well. But the movie was excellent. It was a "film". I mean not commercial at all. Keep posting your interesting videos here if you feel like it.

Anyway, we trade the same stuff: forex and indices (I do futures on them).

You say: "by no means do I think I have anything special...". Kidding me? Anyone who is profitable has something very very special. You're part of a small minority.

Thanks for the very detailed and precise explanation of your discretionary system, which is not entirely univocal by some things you wrote ("depending on how the price behaves once we're in a trade").

"it works for me..": that's a great achievement. I still have nothing like that after 12 years.

Thanks for the psychological explanation of your trades.

"2-4% on a monthly basis"? Because you're not doing futures obviously, nor using leverage.

"so it has been for the last 18-24 months...". That's great. That means with futures you could be doubling your capital every 2 months more or less.

Your questions now.

Yes, I wrote the systems myself. Have been working on them since 2005. You'll find more about them in my two journals here on t2w (my journal and my journal 2). Of course you can use the search function within the journal so you don't have to read all my 2500 posts.

We are talking about no capital at all, because I've lost it and as I said somewhere before I cannot trade these systems below 10k.

Good luck on your attempts to make a living from trading. It sounds like you're quite stable and can handle the pressure. I am the opposite of you: I have no emotional stability at all, and I can't even handle being profitable WHILE being at a regular job, let alone doing that if I had to rely on it as my only source of income. But maybe since I did so badly I would actually become profitable, because I don't see how I could get worse.

I think trading really shows the differences in personalities, unlike other jobs. Employees all look the same, all get paid, regardless of how different they may be among one another. Traders are different. They may all be intelligent, cultured, even knowledgeable about the markets. But a slight difference in personality will make one trader profitable and the other unprofitable.

Last edited by Yamato; Feb 12, 2010 at 7:26pm.
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Old Feb 12, 2010, 7:20pm   #272
 
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Re: 6 rational trades

Completely agree - the original film is brilliant. There are a number of these video's floating around on U tube but I particularly like this one as it references the stock market.

I've given some more thought to my trading and if I really think about it profitability not only comes from the discipline to stick to your rules for a strategy but additionally in discretionary trading its not hesitating to to make a trade based on price action that you may see before you. And occasionally I'll take these trades which offer a good risk reward ratio that also add to the account.

Today was a classic example - took a trade on the DOW when it formed a bear flag looking at 15 minute candles. Entered short at approx 2.05 this afternoon at 10088 and exited at 10041 about 20 minutes later.

In many ways this trade highlights the positive and the negative aspects of my trading. I recognised the pattern, quickly scanned out and checked the hourly chart and the 4 hour chart. Decided I liked the look of the trade and then entered without giving it much more thought. I had a price where I knew the trade would be invalidated and placed a stop at that level. Then the trade started working and I stayed in for about 20 minutes. Then price shows some hesitation and I suspected that because the DOW was 5 minutes from opening it was not good to be exposed to the initial period of price discovery just after opening and so closed out, although I had initially thought that 10000 was a decent target and infact this was achieved just 15 minutes after I closed. So when I look back at this (I try and analyse all trades the following day to try and learn from them) this is what I take out of it:

- Noticed a Flag Pattern
- Good Risk Reward potential
- Market contained lots of bearish sentiment so that should help momentum move down: Greece Issue, China Tightening, Weak Euro (= Strong Dollar, currently negatively correlated to market)
- Good entry
- Indicision in thinking about 5 minutes before the start of the DOW, some hesitation in the price, doubted the trade.
- Closed early
- Result 46 points achieved, 30 points risked. 1:1.5 Risk/reward
- If I could have stayed with the trade longer return would have been 1:2.5
- Personal trade score B ( I use a trading score system when analysing a trade after the event)

This is the aspect of the trade 'price action' that I guess I was referring to in my last post, and it could vary on each and every trade. I stay in trades through to my target, some even past but alas some I'll exit early if there is something in the way the price behaves that I don't like and its hard to put my finger on exactly what that maybe - near support/resistance or maybe news flows. Sometimes I'm right to close early and sometimes not.

I find I go through phases in the development of my trading. What I'm really trying to work on at the moment is trying to let profits run which I find the most difficult aspect of trading and hence why I guess my returns are limited - but hey I reckon every day is a learning day. Hopefully in the future I'll be better.

Would you recommend futures? I may give it some thought. My trading is through spreadbetting so I do trade with leverage however I only trade at a risk of .25% per trade. If I can stay profitable for the first 3 months of full time trading (which begins at the start of next month) then I'm going to up my risk profile - and see what I can generate.

"Yes, I wrote the systems myself. Have been working on them since 2005. You'll find more about them in my two journals here on t2w (my journal and my journal 2). Of course you can use the search function within the journal so you don't have to read all my 2500 posts"
I look forward to reading about them. A great skill to have - I just don't have knowledge or the skill to program. Any decent web sites that I can refer to that will help me create some simple systems?

Tough place to be - No Capital. Hope you manage to get yourself funded again. I went through 2 accounts in my first 3 years - one in spectacular fashion!!

Sure you will find your way to profitability Travis - just need to keep with it. Do you keep a daily journal of any trades that you make? I would highly recommend it. It helped me immensely and stopped me making the same mistakes again and again. Absolutely agree with you view on personalities within trading, I don't think were built to trade - making decisions within an environment of uncertainty where the same action can have a very different result and this makes the mental aspects of trading very difficult to deal with. It's no doubt a tough journey but stick with it and I'm sure you'll come out on top in the end.

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Old Feb 12, 2010, 7:52pm   #273
 
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Re: 6 rational trades

Yamato started this thread Replying as I read, as usual.

Hmm, congratulations on your YM trade.

You sound like you have a lot of confidence in your appraisals. I have none of that. I entered some trades as well. I exited them almost immediately, because I was so scared it would go against me. I am not made to be a discretionary trader, and I don't know if ever will. I just need to increase my money for automated trading. I think if I make one trade per day it could work out. I have a high percentage of winners when I make one trade per day. But I don't know how i'll react when it goes against me, because sometimes i even removed the stoploss.

I'll keep on trying to reinforce my confidence and self-awareness in the chart game. In that practice, it happens the same: if I make a series of trades, they decrease in quality. The more i trade the worse I trade. I am not talking because there's no opportunities (because in the chart game you can click and produce all the opportunities you want). I am talking about the fact that I weigh less and less my decisions.

Quote:
I find I go through phases in the development of my trading. What I'm really trying to work on at the moment is trying to let profits run which I find the most difficult aspect of trading and hence why I guess my returns are limited - but hey I reckon every day is a learning day. Hopefully in the future I'll be better.
Maybe I could help you with that, despite the fact that I'm unprofitable. I started a secret blog where I prepared my trades and they're all time-based entries and exits, but since I couldn't apply my own rules, I recently blew out my account. My friend instead says he's been making money largely basing his trades on my method. So if you are interested in joining us... but you should write a bit every day or else it will be like others who joined the blog and then quit (or rather disappeared, AWOL).

Quote:
Would you recommend futures? I may give it some thought. My trading is through spreadbetting so I do trade with leverage however I only trade at a risk of .25% per trade. If I can stay profitable for the first 3 months of full time trading (which begins at the start of next month) then I'm going to up my risk profile - and see what I can generate.
Well, here i am: trading futures, the most convenient instrument, and being unprofitable. That other friend I told you about trades spreadbetting like you, and you're both very profitable, and using stoplosses, which i rarely do. Why? One of the reasons is also that with the leverage and inability to diversify, my stoplosses are huge. I am tempted to go to spreadbetting like you guys, and size my trades like i should, but I don't do it because of the stories i heard about these guys not giving you the money, or ripping you off somehow. So, if you've been profitable with that stuff, keep doing it, because I haven't. As i said, the biggest problem is that you can't shape your risk, but are forced to use 1 contract.

Quote:
Any decent web sites that I can refer to that will help me create some simple systems?
http://www.elitetrader.com/vb/forumd...?s=&forumid=48

Quote:
Tough place to be - No Capital. Hope you manage to get yourself funded again. I went through 2 accounts in my first 3 years - one in spectacular fashion!!
Yeah, it's not hard to fund myself: i wired some money. I mean, if you have a job, and have no expenses (I always stay at home, I don't pay for rent, only expense are taxis to go to work), what does it take to wire one thousand euros to my account? But 3k is like nothing, because I need at least 10k to trade my automated systems. Which I did have until recently, but I blew it trying to get it from 10k to 20k. Which I had recently but I blew it trying get that 20k to 30k... basically the more i traded discretionary the more I've been blowing out my accounts. For the past 12 years. My experience has been that the systems can grow 3k to 24k in a few months, but my discretionary trading can bring 30k to 3k in a few months. Also: I've been lucky with automated trading, because the 3k always went up but, had I traded with the DX going up, that 3k I started with, would have always been brought to zero very in a couple of days.

Quote:
Sure you will find your way to profitability Travis - just need to keep with it. Do you keep a daily journal of any trades that you make? I would highly recommend it. It helped me immensely and stopped me making the same mistakes again and again.
In case you haven't noticed, this is my journal. I even kept writing about my trades and everything else that was on my mind on this journal. I don't know how much it helped me. For sure i learned much more about the markets, by reading what you guys had to reply to me. Weighbridge, gladiator, wprins and the others who joined later, all helped me out with both psychology and knowledge of the markets, even with excel formulas. I'm definitely not profitable yet. What I am liking is that I am seeing new mistakes and not the old ones. I hope i am sailing towards america like columbus and not going around in circles in the middle of the ocean. I hope I'll get bitten by mosquitoes soon and someone will shout "land! land!".



http://www.theholidayzone.com/columbus/history.html

Last edited by Yamato; Feb 12, 2010 at 8:05pm.
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Old Feb 12, 2010, 8:33pm   #274
 
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20 rational trades

Yamato started this thread I am tired now, so I am stopping. But here's 20 straight rational trades:

http://www.chartgame.com/trackrecord.cgi?8634gd-92,7


Let's not focus on the return, nor on the percentage of wins, nor the quality of my edge, nor the method itself. What I am focusing on is my biggest weakness: keeping rational while I trade, which seems to be the key to my profitability. Staying rational despite wins and despite losses. Choosing to stay in the trade for every moment you're staying in it, and not out of addiction, hope or other. Only because you believe the odds are on your side. And I did it for 20 straight trades. That number of straight rational trades is getting higher and higher. I am becoming more confident and I am taking myself more and more seriously as a trader.
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Old Feb 12, 2010, 9:06pm   #275
 
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Re: 6 rational trades

Thanks Mate, however I've made an entry into the S&P which is not currently going so well! That's the discretionary trading life I guess.. currently breakeven on the day, S&P at its high's. Should I cut here or continue on.... hhhmmmm.... If it retraces at all I'm back into profit if it goes further then I@m down on the day. However not thinking about the loss. I'll be out at 1088 if it can make it there and that will be a loss thats within my risk profile for a days trading.

Confidence - I thinks its grown as the years have gone on. You tend to see more and more things and ultimately recognise where the probability is on your side. Of course its just a probability and it can go wrong which is why you should always use a stop loss. Something I once read may help you with using a stop loss..

Every trade can have 4 outcomes - small loss, small win, big loss, big win. By adding the stop loss you've now eliminated the big loss. That already puts things in your favour..

That said there is a world of thinking about where to place the stop loss.

Fear is natural - it comes back to how we're built to think and uncertainty breeds fear within trading situations however if you've done your home work and you know your risk profile then you have nothing to fear. Tell you what - I'm happy to put up a trade a week on your journal and we can see how it trades out. Pre market entry and my thinking, during the trade and then the result. Of course I don't want to hijack your journal so only if you feel this would be useful and add to your content?

Certainly the Chart game is an excellent resource and I think your doing the right thing using that. I try and limit myself to 3 trades per day and limiting your trades is definitely a good idea (well in my view considering my lack of experience). Occasionally I make a trade or two more however the criteria for more than 3 is that I have to be in profit for the day.

I think about it in a strange way as 'pushing my luck'. In the same way as if I don't win and have 3 losing trades I will not make any more trades during that day, If I do ok - have made some decent trades and have a profit then I tend to push my luck somewhat considering that what I'm risking is coming out of profit - when I'm lucky I want to be really lucky. That said the max number of trades for 1 day will be 5 regardless, that is my absolute cut off, even if they have all been profitable. Again maybe not for everyone but I find that it works for me.

From your posts I think that you should consider spreadbetting in order to control your risk to a greater extent. It sounds as though your not comfortable with your trades due to the risk that is placed on each trade (please correct me if I'm assuming wrong) and hence why you feel the need to jump out of trades quickly.. If the trade cannot do a great deal of damage to your account then you'll feel much more comfortable in holding on for longer.

The blog sounds great and I would appreciate joining. Happy to write... although not sure how useful my thoughts would be

Thanks for the link and your views. Again I find this tread very interesting and I think you hit the nail on the head with your journal - of course you keep a journal !! sometime I cannot see the wood for the trees!

Interesting point you make about spreadbetting firms. I cannot substantiate in any way but have also heard that they dick about with your account in all manner of ways and will occasion trade against you if your a new trader. I think they're are better types of account out there but for now I manage to make a profit in spite of their spreads and can work within my risk profile so they get my business. I've been considering DMA (Direct Market Access) but have not really had the time to look into it. Will have a look at futures also.

Sounds as though life is good - At home, No rent, No costs... what is it you do? I've worked in IT sales for the last 10 years so have had sometime working from home.. hence why I got into this originally.

10k minimum account size for an automated system - I'm guessing because your trading it through futures contracts? Sure you could bring down that requirement if you trades an automated system through a spreadbetting firm. Sounds like they did great 10k to 20k in a few months... I'll definitely have a look at them.

S&P position holding steady... only just in profit for the day with 1 hour before the close... time for a glass of vino I think!
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Old Feb 12, 2010, 9:28pm   #276
 
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Re: 6 rational trades

Yamato started this thread
Quote:
Confidence - I thinks its grown as the years have gone on. You tend to see more and more things and ultimately recognise where the probability is on your side. Of course its just a probability and it can go wrong which is why you should always use a stop loss. Something I once read may help you with using a stop loss..

Every trade can have 4 outcomes - small loss, small win, big loss, big win. By adding the stop loss you've now eliminated the big loss. That already puts things in your favour..
Very wise. Thanks for sharing.

Quote:
Fear is natural - it comes back to how we're built to think and uncertainty breeds fear within trading situations however if you've done your home work and you know your risk profile then you have nothing to fear. Tell you what - I'm happy to put up a trade a week on your journal and we can see how it trades out. Pre market entry and my thinking, during the trade and then the result. Of course I don't want to hijack your journal so only if you feel this would be useful and add to your content?
Feel free to post anything you want. If anything, I should be the one thanking you for enriching my journal. But don't make any promises like "i'll do it once a week", because I know from experience that these commitments become a burden very quickly. You're likely to post more trades if you don't make a commitment, than if you say you'll do it regularly.

Quote:
Certainly the Chart game is an excellent resource and I think your doing the right thing using that. I try and limit myself to 3 trades per day and limiting your trades is definitely a good idea (well in my view considering my lack of experience). Occasionally I make a trade or two more however the criteria for more than 3 is that I have to be in profit for the day.
Yeah, it sounds right. I could do one trade per day without getting into it so much that i lose. The thing is that real trades are addictive to me. And simulated trades tend to be boring. But the chart game largely solves that problem. It's an amazing invention and very understated. It's been developed extremely well.

Quote:
I think about it in a strange way as 'pushing my luck'. In the same way as if I don't win and have 3 losing trades I will not make any more trades during that day, If I do ok - have made some decent trades and have a profit then I tend to push my luck somewhat considering that what I'm risking is coming out of profit - when I'm lucky I want to be really lucky. That said the max number of trades for 1 day will be 5 regardless, that is my absolute cut off, even if they have all been profitable. Again maybe not for everyone but I find that it works for me.
Yes, it sounds wise. If I take one loss (with real money), my day is completely ruined though. I am incapable of making any more good trades. I am trying to improve my tolerance to losses with the chart game. Emotionally, the chart game is very similar, but of course less powerful than a real loss, but it still bothers me quite a bit.

Quote:
From your posts I think that you should consider spreadbetting in order to control your risk to a greater extent. It sounds as though your not comfortable with your trades due to the risk that is placed on each trade (please correct me if I'm assuming wrong) and hence why you feel the need to jump out of trades quickly.. If the trade cannot do a great deal of damage to your account then you'll feel much more comfortable in holding on for longer.
You're totally right, but as i said:

1) I feel uncomfortable opening an account with a spreadbetting company (the stories i read, even on this forum)
2) I don't like to switch continuously from a broker/instrument to the other. It's as if I tried to become a good shot and before I achieved it, they took a rifle a away from me and gave me a totally new rifle.

Quote:
The blog sounds great and I would appreciate joining. Happy to write... although not sure how useful my thoughts would be
Please send me your google email via a private message and i'll invite you to my secret blog. There's only one other person so far, and the other person who's in it is AWOL, as I said, so we'll be three (all from t2w).

Quote:
Thanks for the link and your views. Again I find this tread very interesting and I think you hit the nail on the head with your journal - of course you keep a journal !! sometime I cannot see the wood for the trees!
Yeah. It's pretty funny. This is my journal indeed.

Quote:
Interesting point you make about spreadbetting firms. I cannot substantiate in any way but have also heard that they dick about with your account in all manner of ways and will occasion trade against you if your a new trader. I think they're are better types of account out there but for now I manage to make a profit in spite of their spreads and can work within my risk profile so they get my business. I've been considering DMA (Direct Market Access) but have not really had the time to look into it. Will have a look at futures also.
Well, if you had 100k, then of course you can size your risk at best with futures and risk less than 1% of your account on each trade. But with 3k like i have, things are different. If you do futures, my advice is to use InteractiveBrokers.

Quote:
Sounds as though life is good - At home, No rent, No costs... what is it you do? I've worked in IT sales for the last 10 years so have had sometime working from home.. hence why I got into this originally.
No, actually life is not good at all. I work at a bank and I just live at home with my dad, ah ah. So I don't have to pay the rent. Half of my psychological problems come from my relationship with my dad, by the way.

Quote:
10k minimum account size for an automated system - I'm guessing because your trading it through futures contracts? Sure you could bring down that requirement if you trades an automated system through a spreadbetting firm. Sounds like they did great 10k to 20k in a few months... I'll definitely have a look at them.
Yes, futures are the reason. Good point. How can you take a look at them if I didn't post them anywhere? Oh, by the way, the whole automation relies on interactivebrokers so i can't bring the same automated stuff on any other broker (instrument yes, but always with IB).

Last edited by Yamato; Feb 12, 2010 at 9:40pm.
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Old Feb 12, 2010, 10:02pm   #277
 
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two extra ingredients in my appraisal: hope and fear

Yamato started this thread Interesting difference in reasoning and predicting even within simulated trading when:

1) I invest, by opening a trade

2) I predict without investing ("it will go up", "it will go down"...).

I will now try to keep my rationality when I'm into a trade just as much as when I am out. I will try to pay attention to how i think when I am into the trade and out.

In a way it reminds me of when I am into an argument with someone tough. If I am playing it in my fantasy I will say one thing, but when I am faced with the tough guy, I usually say a different thing, or lose control, just like in trading. What these situations have in common is that they're potentially dangerous and stressful situations. When you're in a trade you're almost like when you're in an argument that could have a violent and dangerous outcome.

To make a rational call on the market, you have to pretend you will not invest your money on your appraisal and then do so. Then when it proves wrong, you have to pretend you're not invested in it, see how the market reacted to your prediction, and exit if it proved you wrong. You have to think as if you weren't in the market. That's why so many people insist on investing little of your capital on each trade: because that way your emotional involvement decreases.

Here's the exercise that I am doing right now, on the chart game: I am not investing any more. I am just click the weeks and saying out loud, in Italian, my prediction: "sale", "sale", "sale", "scende", "scende"... which is "up", "up", "down"...

In a second phase, I will try to invest as freely, easily, lightly as I am saying "sale" and "scende". I am noticing that until now my reasoning and predictions are totally different, because (even in the chart game) when I am investing there's two extra ingredients in my appraisal: hope and fear. Which ruin the recipe for a good appraisal.

Last edited by Yamato; Feb 12, 2010 at 10:13pm.
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Old Feb 12, 2010, 10:30pm   #278
 
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re: my journal 2

Yamato started this thread I would say that it's ok to get surprised by a move, to make mistakes, and even to lose a lot. What's not ok is to get mad at the market, or get offended. That should be avoided. We must learn or mature enough to not do that. Because if you make a mistake you could lose a lot, but if you get mad at the market you're going to blow out your account.
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Old Feb 12, 2010, 11:11pm   #279
 
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biggest losing streak interrupted by a win that got too big

Yamato started this thread This really sucks, in an ironic way. I took on the challenge to reduce my account to zero, which after all seemed the easiest thing do (just doing what felt right was a great fast way to lose everything). So I brought my 10k to a record low of 20 cents and even a bit lower. But then I ran into a huge win, of 250%, that really screwed up everything.

http://www.chartgame.com/trackrecord.cgi?8634gd-93,74

snap1.jpg

Thanks to this experience I'll be a little less afraid of losing (I am terrified of losses and that's why I don't take them and I'd rather blow out my account), since no matter how hard I try to lose, I'll never beat this record: from 10k to 10 cents in a few minutes. The problem is that after I tried to lose on purpose I was actually winning more often. When I started trying to lose, i started winning. Anyway, it was good: just another experiment. I hope this web site won't stop existing, because I will use it for hours and hours per day a long way into the future, for years to come.

Last edited by Yamato; Feb 12, 2010 at 11:25pm.
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Old Feb 12, 2010, 11:58pm   #280
 
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re: my journal 2

Yamato started this thread http://stagevu.com/video/szjzxmjfpuyn
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Old Feb 13, 2010, 2:09am   #281
 
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tired of losing at the chart game

Yamato started this thread I am tired of failing at this game. Now I'll play 20 stocks, with one trade per stock. I am positive that I will succeed and that I will manage to make those 20 trades in a row, without having to take breaks between them. I am pretty sure that I can achieve this every time I play 20 stocks with 20 trades. The problem is when I am allowing myself to make plenty of trades per stock.

Anyway, once I'll achieve this 20 trades in a row, I'll gradually increase it and bring it all the way to one hundred trades on 100 stocks. That will be my objective. I don't care about incredible results. I just care to be profitable and to never have to restart a series of 100 trades because I skipped a stoploss.

I don't want to wait too long either and hesitate too much before picking a trade so I will trade all 20 stocks, forcing myself to make a trade in every stock.

Ok, done the trades and came out profitable, not by much, but profitable, and I played pretty fast all 20 trades on the 20 stocks:
http://www.chartgame.com/trackrecord.cgi?8634gd-98,20

I'm going to do another 20 trades in a while.

Last edited by Yamato; Feb 13, 2010 at 2:46am.
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Old Feb 13, 2010, 5:28am   #282
 
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lost but all rational trades

Yamato started this thread Here's another 20 trades. All good ones. With stocks you never know what happens in a week. There was a stock that lost 50% in one week. I had to take it and close the trade, and it screwed the otherwise good balance.

http://www.chartgame.com/trackrecord.cgi?8634gd-99,20

I am satisfied in that i can make 20 trades, usually be profitable, and lately haven't lost control.
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Old Feb 13, 2010, 5:57am   #283
 
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re: my journal 2

Yamato started this thread Got tired after just 11 trades:
http://www.chartgame.com/trackrecord.cgi?8634gd-100,11

I guess all I can do is a total of 50 trades per day.
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Old Feb 13, 2010, 1:53pm   #284
 
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re: my journal 2

Yamato started this thread Another 20 rational trades:

http://www.chartgame.com/trackrecord.cgi?8634gd-101,20
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Old Feb 13, 2010, 2:41pm   #285
 
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re: my journal 2

Yamato started this thread Another 20 rational trades. This time it was my record I think: just 2 mistakes out of 20 trades.

http://www.chartgame.com/trackrecord.cgi?8634gd-103,23
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