Simple not easy

atters88

Member
74 4
2 CAC40 trades entered

Long Alstom (ALO)
Short Alcatel Lucent (ALU)

Also watching Chevron as a possible short if weakness ensues.
 

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atters88

Member
74 4
Long Cisco Systems

I've been stopped out of my short trade in Alcatel :(

I've just bought Cisco Systems (CSCO) as it resumes its griding upwards trend.

My Microsoft long is now well in the money.

Hopefully I'll have time to post a more intersting update tonight.
 

atters88

Member
74 4
Learning

There's a great series of interviews with Peter Brandt on the Mercenary Trader website. Among the many interesting points he makes is that so much money can be lost trying to anticipate breakouts. I try to heed that advice but today is a day in which I fell short.

http://www.mercenarytrader.com/2011/03/interview-with-a-trading-legend-part-i/

In summary, my Alcatel short was stopped out. A nasty hit but it could have been worse. Meanwhile my Alstom long was closed for only a small profit. My Microsoft long is going well, however, but I will now look to close it.

But annoyingly, my Cisco long has drifted (marginally) into the red. This is a trade I took anticipating a breakout which didn't come. In deciding to trade Cisco, I also weighed up buying Visa but ruled that out because it had opened so strong. Duuurrr!! Deep down I know shouldn't worry about a stock that gaps upwards in a breakout. That is what is supposed to happen if my analysis is right! I know I must not worry about being in at the very start. My job is just to take a bite out of the middle, because that is where the profit is most easily found.

Put the kettle on, put your feet up and read the Peter Brandt interview. There are a lot of interesting ideas in there and lots of good advice. I particularly like his idea of looking at charts with no price information marked on the Y axis and without even knowing what entity the chart is showing.
 
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WklyOptions

Well-known member
269 24
I have spent half an hour browsing this site. Sadly it was not time well spent. A couple of days ago, I began questioning myself about whether it was worthwhile writing a journal as it seems to have sparked almost no interest. But having seen how much senseless noise arises out of some threads, I can see that speaking into a void has its advantages.

One benefit is that, even if no-one is reacting, I feel accountable for what I post - and that's a good thing. Posting here has also made me think about my trading habits. One decision I took a couple of days ago was to double my basic position size. I have now decided to regulate my screen time, since it is clear to me that some time is more productive than other. I don't know how this will fare if markets really get lively but I have now resolved to spend only the following times trading:

7.50am to 8.20am GMT - review Asian markets, enter European positions after monitoring the open. New resolution: place trade after the opening range has been established.
2.15 ti 2.45 pm GMT - review European markets and enter US positions
8.45 to 9.15pm Review the day and identify potential new positions

And at the weekend, a review of the week - 1 hour

So, 90 minutes a day max. I'm pretty sure that spending more time online will not improve my trading. I may make an exception to update my journal BUT IS THERE ANYONE OUT THERE?

Hi, atters88,

Fine job with posting and sharing your trading ideas, lessons, journey so far.

You have done a great job with the following improvements: :clap:

1. You shared your trading setup. Example Long = buy after wide range up bar on higher volume and with close at the upper end of the wide range bar, etc.

2. You shared your "idea" of profit taking = exit on the close of the day of entry.

3. You shared your "proven wrong" stop loss = below the low of the entry day.

However - there are lessons to be learned and areas for further refinement: :idea:

4. Your examples on multiple times showed some inconsistency on profit taking. Some trades you exited end of day - other trades you hold overnight.

5. Your examples showed some "waning" for taking action on your stop-loss areas.

6. Your decision to double up your trade size may be a bit too early yet. :!:

In my experience, I have observed that many traders have yet to:

7. Stick to highly defined, precise rules for Entry, Profit-Taking, Stop-Loss criteria. You can better define these rules yourself - BUT - you must LEARN to TRUST and SUPPORT your own decision-making rules and judgments/biases.

8. You can certainly help yourself better in (7) above if you: visualize, rehearse, imagine the perfect trends, setups, etc., on a DAILY basis - at least 30 mins before the start of your trading day. Daily visualization, rehearsals, conditioning - this will help you learn to execute "perfectly" and without hesitation - in full compliance of your own trading criteria/rules. You must AVOID changing your trading actions and trading rules/criteria in the middle of trades.

9. You must TRAIN yourself to SUPPPORT your inner trader - do not evaluate your skills and results on a trade-by-trade basis. Create a STANDARD of Trading Excellence for yourself = you will evaluate, assess, LEARN, and GROW/IMPROVE your trading skill set via routine systematic debriefing AFTER every 20-30 closed trades (with all 20-30 closed trades with precise and unwavering trading rules). :!:

10. Reduce your trade size back down to a minimum amount - until you have PROVEN to yourself (not to anybody else - but only to yourself) that you have the SKILL to TRUST your rules, plus you have the SKILL to EXECUTE your trading rules.

You have started on a good pathway towards independent professional trading. Reduce your bet size for now - not ready to increase/double your bets yet. It will come fast enough - IF you have a winning and highly focused trading plan.

Step ABOVE the average retail trader! Get more focused, condition and rehearse your trading rules/criteria daily before the start of the trading period, follow precisely your trading plan and execute 100% according to plan. Win or lose? Not important really yet - more important to condition, train yourself to develop the SKILL of 100% flawless execution (a STANDARD) to your trading plan.

If - you can actually follow a set of trading criteria and precision-based trading rules for a closed 20-30 trades - then I am certain you will begin to develop and embed within your self the CRITICAL SKILLS and STANDARDS toward a career in professional trading. (y)

Atters88 - and T2W readers - please do not misunderstand my CAP LETTERS used. It is not a "shouting" emphasis, nor is it out of any negative emotional state. I routinely use CAP LETTERS only to help the reader visually focus and select text areas for more intense reading and reflection and questioning. Retail trading is usually a visual-based skill-based endeavor. So I use CAP LETTERS to help train the reader to focus down and trust what his/her eyes are "seeing" - nothing more - do not associate any negative emotions to the CAP LETTERS. :rolleyes:

Atters88 - keep improving your trading game. Make your trading rules and criteria even more well-focused and precisely defined. Then time for commitment and promise to yourself to act the very best you can - to trade and execute for 20 closed trades according to your highly focused trading plan. You will soon learn to trust yourself - and not allow yourself to self-sabotage your trades (not allow yourself to deviate from your trading plan in an open trade).

Any questions? Ideas? By the way - if after 20 closed well-defined trading results are completed, and you want help to debrief the trades, I will be more than happy to give my input/observations. But - only if the 20+ closed trades are highly consistent and precise. Fair enough? :cool:

Regards,

WklyOptions
 
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atters88

Member
74 4
early = wrong

First i want to thank WklyOptions for his constructive and thoughtful post. You are right that I lack consistency in how I close winning positions. This is because I haven't really worked out what my philosophy is on this.

With a losing position, I have a method which makes sense to me and which conforms to standard trading wisdom. i.e cut your losses. I apply this in practice by, first, having a "safety" stop loss but also assessing each open position at the end of the day. Is this a trade that I would enter into now?or in other words,does the set up still work? If not, I close it. Simple.

But I feel a conflict with winning positions. Let your profits run, right? Yes, but what if the set up isn't one that I would enter NOW? Am I not better off closing the position, taking my profit and redeploying my capital in a trade that I do want to enter now?

In reality, I tend to close positions at the end of the day. I can always enter them again tomorrow. But I have held onto Microsoft and have now moved my stop to break even and sold a $43 call expiring Friday. sensible? Dumb? I don't know but it was one way to resolve my indecision over whether to take my profit or let my profits run.

Cisco systems which I bought (and closed) yesterday made the move today I had anticipated. Early = wrong of course.

Some interesting upward dynamics in the Dow 30 stocks today (AT&T, IBM, JP Morgan, Intel). The most convincing of them is AT&T (the breakout launched from the top of an area of consolidation, it was preceded by higher lows and the stock closed quite strong). If Asia and Europe are steady, some follow through is likely and I intend to take a bite. I may also try buying Cisco again. Du Pont is the short of choice.
 

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barjon

Legendary member
10,705 1,809
...................But I feel a conflict with winning positions. Let your profits run, right?...................

Not necessarily :). Your style seems to be about taking bursts of momentum, not trend following, so I'd say you are more in the business of taking what you need from the burst than hanging on for more.
 

WklyOptions

Well-known member
269 24
... You are right that I lack consistency in how I close winning positions. This is because I haven't really worked out what my philosophy is on this.

With a losing position, I have a method which makes sense to me and which conforms to standard trading wisdom. i.e cut your losses. I apply this in practice by, first, having a "safety" stop loss but also assessing each open position at the end of the day. Is this a trade that I would enter into now?or in other words,does the set up still work? If not, I close it. Simple.

But I feel a conflict with winning positions. Let your profits run, right? Yes, but what if the set up isn't one that I would enter NOW? Am I not better off closing the position, taking my profit and redeploying my capital in a trade that I do want to enter now?

In reality, I tend to close positions at the end of the day. I can always enter them again tomorrow...

I don't know but it was one way to resolve my indecision over whether to take my profit or let my profits run...

Hi, atters88,

Based off the comments you posted previously above, it is clear that you are at least aware of your ongoing internal trading conflicts (and possibly inner values conflicts) with regards to targets/profit-taking. Awareness is a critical step towards curiosity, interest, growth, learning, knowledge, application, wisdom! :clap:

I'd like to suggest that you take the time - or make the time - to gather your closed trades and organize it chronologically into a spreadsheet. Then debrief the last 20-30 closed trades and include in the spreadsheet the following:

1. Date of Entry.
2. Entry criteria - why? Wide range? Higher volume? Close at tip?
3. Long or Short.
4. Entry Price.
5. Initial Stop-Loss Price.

6. Date of Exit.
7. Exit criteria - why? Stop-Loss hit? Hit Target? Exited early - why specifically?
8. Exit Price.
9. Emotional response observed after Exit. Happy? Excited? Angry? Frustrated?

10. Return/Risk = [(4)-(8)]/[(4)-(5)]
11. $ Size of trade taken.
12. % of trade taken vs account size.
13. Final acct $ balance after closed trade.

Atters88 - it may seem lot a great deal of "homework" - but it will be a very useful learning/growth skill-based exercise for you! :whistling

Remember - it must be the last 20-30 closed CONSECUTIVE trades.

IF - you provide the above "homework" in precision, correct details, etc - I will help provide for you a detailed debriefing analysis for you to review and study and learn to improve your trading rules! (y)

Trading is all about making $$$ consistently - every day, every week, every month (whatever time periodicity you trade with). This requires 100% focus on making the best trading decisions effectively! Beyond this, it requires that you have a working KNOWLEDGE of what is your trading EDGE.

Note = I always emphasize reviewing your trading EDGE every 20-30 closed trades. Professional traders do not react on the basis of one or a couple of losing trades. We use closed trade windows. As your experience and closed trades are documented - we increase the debriefing window to include systematic debriefs at 20-30 closed trades, at 50-60 closed trades, at 80-90 closed trades, etc.

All of the hard data that are true, clean, error-free, honest, will help you to formulate a much stronger base to begin to add the topic of bet-sizing.

Trading is a thinking game! Thinking requires 100% focus, attention to details, precision results/data feedback. Then proper actions with adjustments to get improved data feedback - and ultimately reach your trading destination! (y)

Whenever I've worked with trading interns/clerks/newbies, one of the first skill sets to learn to achieve is so simple = to earn $25 or $50 per day for at least 20 consecutive days! Whatever trading plan/bias is selected, whatever trading asset(s) is used, etc. FX, binary options, standard options, stocks, daytrading, etc.

Learning to achieve profitability = this is done thru actual live trading with $$$ at risk (even if only $25 risk per trade or less). Paper trading is beneficial to a certain level. Paper trading helps to drill down specific trading-platform procedural details, remove random errors of execution, remove basic errors of trading plan execution. However - real trader growth - is achieved only with the real trading $$$ profit or loss outcomes! No way to get around the $$$ barriers that are so emotionally and psychologically "intense/volatile" within us! :devilish:

No matter what obstacles/challenges exist or arise - if that trading intern can learn to make $25 or $50 per day - every day for 20 consecutive trading days - then he/she will have a very good chance to really become an outstanding trader - with the caveat that he/she is continually monitored for risk management, trading errors, systematic debriefs, etc. :smart:

Can you achieve this trading minimum threshold of performance with your trading plan? How can you know? Well - it will never happen - you will never know - until and unless you begin to TAKE ACTION and STANDARDS at the professional level.

In conclusion - do your homework please. Gather, organize, data for the spreadsheet above! No judgments, no "good" or "bad" atters88! :confused:

Only correct accurate vs inaccurate trading data/results to study and debrief.

Good luck - please - enjoy the work and effort! You are investing in yourself. All of the work and effort = conditioning and reinforcing of good trading behaviors! Feel free to ask your questions if you run into internal/psychological barriers. :idea::idea:

Best regards and apologies for the lengthy reply,

WklyOptions
 
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atters88

Member
74 4
Early = wrong pt 2

Barjon is right in his post above to say that I trade bursts of momentum. It' a style that i find suits me, not least because, if I am wrong, I find out quickly.

But my style of trading has its drawbacks, not least that often I am right but make no money. Alstom which I highlighted on Monday as a buy barely moved at first, so I closed my trade to seek riches elsewhere. But the riches would have come if I had stayed put. For much of today, Alstom was the biggest winner on the CAC40. Oh well.

My other trades have gone well however. Microsoft really took off today. I have capped my gains by selling call options which expires on Friday. Most likely, my shares will be called away at the close on Friday and i will have my most profitable trade for weeks. AT&T which I bought at the open has made a slow but positive start and is being held overnight. Of the Dow 30 stocks, Intel however was the horse to back today.

I didn't take any shorts today - Europe this morning was too strong. I won't trade tomorrow due to heavy work commitments.
 

atters88

Member
74 4
More weakness to come?

Today's weakness carried on into the close, so tomorrow I will be looking to take a couple of shorts.

The CAC40 has been particularly weak over the past few weeks and that seems to be gaining momentum. I've therefore looked through the CAC40 stocks for a short which meets my broad criteria (breakouts from ranges and moves which are gathering momentum). The pick for me is Lafarge.

Oil stocks were also weak today due to new sanctions against Russia which may hit BP in particular hard. Total and BP, whilst not conforming to my usual set ups, are also good short candidates in my view.

My long in AT&T was closed at the close for a small loss.
 

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atters88

Member
74 4
Now that's what I call quite good

Fans of 80s/90s UK indie pop music will recognise the title of this post as being the name of a classic album by The Housemartins. But that I feel sums up my trading this week. No gold stars but you can't knock making a profit.

Two of the three trades I highlighted yesterday would have produced decent gains today (bought at the open and sold at the trade), with Lafarge being one of the biggest fallers on the CAC40. Also, the three trades overall were comfortably profitable. I've also finally sold Microsoft (or rather had my stock called away) for a tidy profit :D

US stocks this year have shown a remarkable tendency to bounce back from set backs and, if things are calm politically over the weekend, I'll be looking to take on a long position in the US. I'll spend more time reviewing the charts over weekend but Goldman Sachs (GS) and Coca Cola look poised to break higher.

Also, United Technologies is interesting as it seems to have stabilised at 113 which since March has acted as support. I'll watch for a bounce before getting on board (3 or 4 consecutive higher lows, preferably with increased volume is what I like to see). However, the spike higher on 15 July is a concern as it suggests that there are few buyers above 115, so it may be that i will just watch and learn on this occasion (i..e simply observe (and try to learn from observing) whether 115 is taken out.
 

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atters88

Member
74 4
Weak Stock, Weak Index

It makes sense when looking for a stock to short to look in a weak index. After all, general liquidations will be adding further to the selling pressure on the weaker stocks. For the moment, the CAC40 is my preferred pool to fish in for stocks to short. And the pick of the bunch tonight, in my humble opinion, is St Gobain.

I don't just want to trade on the short side tomorrow. For a long, I'll stick with Goldman Sachs (GS) which did nothing today but which is teasing with breaking upwards.

United Technologies also looks like it is about to do something. I don't know what yet, but when it moves, i intend to get on board.

Finally, anyone who followed my tip last week to short Larfarge and who is still holding that position will be happy.:)
 

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paszkman

Established member
649 54
Hi Atters, how do you keep an eye on so many different stocks?? Do you manually look through so many charts or are you using some sort of stock screener?
 

atters88

Member
74 4
Identifying stocks to trade

Hi Atters, how do you keep an eye on so many different stocks?? Do you manually look through so many charts or are you using some sort of stock screener?

Hi and thanks for your question.

I mainly try to keep an eye on he stocks in the Dow 30 index, so that's not really that many. I use ProRealTime for my charts and they list the stocks in Dow 30 index together and i find it easy to scroll quickly though the charts. I just press the down arrow key to move to the next chart. Most charts I will dismiss in a matter of seconds as I am looking for set ups where there is either tension or a move which is gaining momentum.

Recently I have also been following the CAC40 stocks as the index has been weak for a while and I thought it would be a good place to look for short candidates - which it has been.

I have tried scanning software in the past but haven't found anything that I think helps me. I think time is better spent learning how to read price action - it takes time but I believe it's the most likely route to success in trading.
 

atters88

Member
74 4
Today's trades

I've already sold and bought back United Technologies on it's anticipated break lower today. Profit of $1 per share. Could I have made more by holding on longer? Probably, but I tend just to grab my profit as soon as the move I anticipate takes place. The way I look at is this: when I closed my position, the stock no longer looked like a sell to me. It had already shot it's load.

I'm also long Goldman Sachs which is playing out nicely today after having done nothing yesterday :) But I am short St Gobain and the price is approaching my stop loss. :(
 

atters88

Member
74 4
As it says on the tin

I came across this quote today from legendary trade, Ed Seykota:

"The biggest secret about success is that there isn't any big secret about it, or if there is, then it's a secret from me, too. The idea of searching for some secret for trading success misses the point. "

For me, when I come to this realisation for myself, it was the turning point in my trading. I came to see that technical analysis (of the indicator variety) is the alchemy of this century. In past centuries, some great minds including Sir Isaac newton fell for the deluded quest to turn base metals to gold. Today, intelligent people experiment with indicators or, worse still, listen (and pay money) to gurus who promise to unlock the secrets of the markets.

In a playful moment, I devised a rather cheeky (contrary)indicator of my own to see if I can profit from the folly of others and, yes, although I have only paper traded it half a dozen times, so far the hit rate is 100%. No doubt that won't last and I want this just to be fun but I will start posting the signals as I spot them in order to see how many wins I can find.

Turning to today, I'm pleased to report it was another profitable day. I had a good win with my long on Goldnman Sachs and United technologies did indeed move and i was on for the ride (or at least part of it). But my short in St Gobain spoiled the fun a bit. Still a profit is a profit.

It's late and I'm tired and i sense my next few trades may need a bit more thought. Hopefully I will find time to review some charts before the European open in the morning.
 
 
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