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Hey BBT family,

I am going to start a new journal to document my trades daily.  I am mostly interested in doing this for my own educational purposes and to hold myself accountable, but I hope that it will also provide some value for some others out there.

A little about myself and my trading:

  • I have a career in Information Security, and trading is really a part time thing for me.  Perhaps someday in the distant future it will be my full time/early retirement gig, but for now I am trading at work and just focusing on developing an edge.
  • I have been swing trading for a few months with some success, but I have found that I do not like the overnight risk that is inherent with swing trading.  I have had a couple of decent losses due to overnight gap downs, and I don't like the feeling of taking a big loss and having no control over it.  If I am going to take a big loss I want to at least know that it was due to my own failure to manage risk properly.
  • I day traded for about a month but I was really just firing from the hip.  It did not work out.  I started reading and learning more about systematic trading, risk management, and trading psychology.  I quickly realized that the way I was trading was the exact reason that so many people fail.  My goal now is to develop a simple strategy that has positive expectancy, and develop the discipline to stick to that strategy.  I want trading to become automatic, and even 'boring'.

My goals:

  • I am starting out very small, risking only $25 per trade.  If I can show consistent profits for one month I will scale up.
  • I don't really have a strict daily goal set, but if I hit a good trade for 2R or so I will be done for the day.
  • My biggest goal is to just stick to my strategy.  At the end of the first month I want to have a decent set of data to look at that isn't skewed by random trades.  I want to know that my strategy is either working or not working.

Something to note - I am using ThinkOrSwim as my platform.  I tried DAS Trader for a while with a CMEG account, but for me it was hard to justify the commissions and the monthly data fee for the type of trading I am doing, especially since I am trading very small to start out.  The strategy I am focusing on is the 15 Minute ORB, and I have had no problems so far with fills or execution time with ToS.  If I were doing quick scalping trades this would be a completely different story.  The free commissions, excellent charting, and the fact that I have other accounts with TD are keeping me with ToS, at least for now.

Hope you all enjoy my posts and I certainly welcome any and all kinds of feedback!


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The forum has been down for a couple of days so I will be posting through the weekend to get caught up.


Today was an ideal trading day for me.  I caught a nice move on NIO for a one and done.

P&L: $57.38

Trade breakdown:

·       Entry at break of 15 minute opening range.  Stop loss set to just below VWAP.

·       Took off a little less than 50% at 1R, which happened to line up nicely with the first fib extension.

·       Took off a little more before $41 level

·       Took off a little more before $42 level

·       All out at the break below the 20 EMA



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I took 2 trades on LYFT and 1 trade on NIO today.  All of my trades were wins, but I made some mistakes managing the trades and left a lot of profit on the table.

Today’s P&L: $9.79

Net P&L: $67.17



Trade 1 breakdown:

·       Entry on break of 15 minute opening range.  Stop loss set below VWAP.

·       Took 50% off a little below 1R after seeing some weakness.

·       All out at break even to protect profits.

·       I should have waited just a bit longer to see if the opening range level and the 20 EMA held.  They did, and LYFT went on a really nice run right after.  I was too concerned with protecting my profits and missed out on a really nice move on this one.



Trade 2 breakdown:

·       Entry at break of 15 minute opening range.  I got in late, and didn’t have a clear idea of where my stop should be

·       Took a small partial before the $46 level

·       All out at break even to protect profit

Overall, this trade was messy because I had no real plan.  I took a partial too early, and then felt like I had to stop out at break even to protect those very small profits.  NIO went on a great run for most of the day.  Had I had a better plan and not been shaken out I would have got a really nice move on this one as well.



Trade 3 breakdown:

·       Entry at the break of the 15 minute opening range after a sharp reversal at the previous day’s low.  Stop loss below the 20 EMA.

·       Took a little less than half off at a little over 1R.

·       Took a little more off at the first fib extension.

·       All out at the break below the 20EMA.

·       I think I executed well on this trade.  I was hoping it would make a move all the way back up to VWAP, but I think I did well taking everything the trade was willing to give me.



Lessons learned:

·       Even though I am trading a 15 minute ORB, I like using the 1 minute or 5 minute chart to get a more precise entry.  However, I think once I enter the trade I should switch back to the 15 minute chart to manage the trade.  I think I am going to be more prone to getting shaken out if I continue to watch the smaller time frame charts while managing my trades.


Edited by Stevecb06

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I had a hard time getting anything going today.  A lot of stocks this morning had a false break out of the 15 minute opening range.  There were a lot of great break downs of the 15 minute opening range, but I am trading in a cash account and can't short yet.  I ended the day green by accidentally taking a double size position on a trade - and luckily it worked out.

Today's P&L: $29.80

Net P&L: $96.97


SNAP Trade breakdown:

  •  Entry on 2nd break of the 15 minute opening range after finding support at VWAP.  Stop loss set below VWAP.
  •  I had a limit order to take off 50% at 40.97 - it got to 40.96 and then pulled back all the way to my stop.  Ouch!


DKNG Trade Breakdown

  •  This trade was outside of my playbook, but I felt like I saw a clear opportunity and jumped on it.  DKNG broke out of a range and reclaimed VWAP on decently rising volume.  I took an entry on a confirmation candle after it reclaimed VWAP.  Stop at the low of the previous candle. 
  •  I took off half at 1R and then took some more off a few candles later after seeing signs of weakness.
  •  Stopped out of the remaining position at break even.


PLTR Trade Breakdown:

  •  First entry on break of 15 minute opening range, and reclaiming 20 EMA and VWAP on decent volume.  Tight stop loss under entry candle.
  •  Took a quick 50% partial and then was stopped at break even.
  •  Got back in after I saw support at VWAP and a nice looking hammer on rising volume.
  •  Once again, I got one good partial and was stopped at break even.


NIO Trade Breakdown

  •  This was a poor trade that I never should have entered.  I entered at the break of the 15 minute opening range as I was seeing a lot of volume coming in.  What I should have realized was that it was heavy selling volume at the high of day.
  •  This one quickly turned on me and I was stopped out at the break below the 20EMA.


SPCE Trade Breakdown:

  •  Again, this was not in my playbook, but I saw some real tight consolidation at the 22 level and saw an opportunity on the break.
  •  I had a buy stop for 200 shares put in at 22.01 so I would get filled as soon as it popped the 22 level.  I have no idea how I bought 200 shares at 21.99, and I didn't even realize I got filled on those until I started taking partials.
  •  Took a quick partial at 22.05 to lock in some quick profits.
  •  Went to take another partial of 50 shares at 22.08.  This is when I looked over and realized I had way more shares than I should have.  I took off 250 here to get me back to where I was supposed to be.
  •  Took some more small partials and then was all out at the break below the 20 EMA.
  •  I really lucky on this one.  Entry execution was messy on this trade and it could have been bad if it went against me.  This was my best trade of the day and it was purely accidental!

Lessons learned:

  •  I need to be more aware.  6 whole minutes went by before I realized I was accidentally filled on SPCE.
Edited by Stevecb06
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I ended the day green but once again I just could not get anything going.  I continue to get chopped out of most trades, and I am not sure if that is due to the choppiness of the market or due to my own execution.  That is something I am going to focus on over the next few days.

Today’s P&L: $11.39

Net P&L: $108.36



CCL Trade Breakdown:

·         I took an entry on this one before it actually broke the 15 minute opening range.  Why?  I don’t know… I just had a good feeling it was going to break it based on premarket strength and the news of Moderna’s vaccine effectiveness.  Stop loss below VWAP.

·         I took a small partial too soon.  Should have waited and took some off a little closer to 1R.

·         CCL went on to chop around at the high of the opening range for a while before breaking down.  I got stopped out at just above break even.



LYFT Trade Breakdown:

·         LYFT broke the 15 minute opening range, pulled back, and seemed to find support – so I entered with a stop loss below VWAP.

·         I made another decision based on a feeling and took a loss at the break below the 20 EMA instead of letting it get all the way to VWAP.  It worked out, but it may not the next time.  I want my trading to be as systematic as possible, so I need to try to stick to my entry and exit rules.


NIO Trade Breakdown:

·         I saw NIO break the high of the 15 minute opening range, pull back a bit, and then found support right at the high of the opening range.  Perfect low risk entry.  Stop loss below 20 EMA.

·         Started taking partials around 1R and eventually got all out shortly after.

·         I found myself wondering why I got all out when I did.  In hindsight it wasn’t a bad call since NIO dropped a bit and then settled into a range.  But what if it hadn’t?  I got out before really seeing any sign of weakness, and this thing could have kept on going.  Just like my prior trades on CCL and LYFT, I guess I just had a feeling.  Do I have enough experience yet to trade based on feeling?  Probably not..


MRNA Trade Breakdown:

·         This trade was not in my playbook, but I saw a nice bull flag forming and thought it was a good opportunity.

·         I was wrong and was stopped out at a break below the 20EMA.

·         I’m not beating myself up too much for this one.  I still think this looked like a great set up.  Two strong green candles with good volume and a low volume pullback.


LYFT Trade Breakdown:

·         Took an entry on LYFT as it broke the 15 minute opening range and reclaimed the 20EMA.  Stop loss at $39.50 below the previous swing low.  I took a smaller size on this one due to the fact that I felt like I was struggling to make anything happen today.

·         Took my first partial right around 1R, then another right in the same area as it looked like it was losing momentum.  I was all out at the break below the 20EMA.


Lessons learned:

  • I have to figure out why most of my trades are turning out to be scalping style trades when they are not supposed to be.  My main goal is to get on board a trend that I can ride, but it hasn't happened the last few days.  Tomorrow I am going to try trading based on the 5 minute chart rather than the 1 minute to see if I can extend my trades a bit.





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I paper traded today since I am waiting for some funds to settle in my account (the joys of working with a cash account). 

I also tried something new.  Instead of entering trades by buying or selling shares, I tried using weekly options.  I have been interested in day trading with options because it solves some problems I am currently facing due to trading with a cash account.

  • I can't short with a cash account, but I can buy a put
  • I can buy an options contract for significantly less than it would cost to buy those 100 shares
  • My funds will settle quicker.  T+1 for options as opposed to T+2 for shares

However, I don't know enough about options to comfortably use real capital yet, so I have been playing around with paper money.

Anyways - I had fun trading options today, and I ended the day up about $90 which is not bad at all for the amount I am trading with!

I won't share all of my trades because there were a lot and most of them were experimental, but I did want to share my best trade of the day which was on NIO.


NIO Trade Breakdown:

  • I was watching NIO steadily climb in this nice uptrend.  I entered once I saw it break the bottom trend line.  My mental stop was above the 20EMA.
  • I entered with a 20 NOV 20 48 Put and I only bought 1 contract at $3.75 (total cost of $375)
  • I exited as the price approached VWAP.  I sold the 1 contract for $4.55 ($455)
  • Total profit was $80 on this trade using only $375 of buying power - pretty cool!

Here is a screen grab of the chart for the option chain that I traded


I might play around with day trading options again tomorrow.  My main question is how to define risk using options.  I would feel better about trading them if I knew every trade had a defined risk like it is possible to do by calculating share size.


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I had another okay day today.  I don’t seem to be hitting any slam dunk trades, but I do seem to be finding some consistency.  My win percentage has been high and my overall wins are outpacing my losses, and that is the #1 goal right?  I will admit, my trades with this strategy have been way more scalp-y than I would like, but as long as I continue to see consistency I am going to keep doing what I am doing.

I did take another trade today – an option trade like what I was trying yesterday in a paper trading account.  This time I took a similar trade in my real account.  I will share that trade, but I’m not going to add it to my P&L because I consider it a separate strategy and I don’t want it to skew any of the data I am collecting.

Today’s P&L: $27.29

Net P&L: $135.65


RIDE Trade Breakdown:

·       Entry after seeing a break of the 15 minute opening range, a lower volume pullback, and then a nice bullish candle on higher volume.  I admittedly chased this one a little bit.  Stop loss below the 15 minute opening range high.

Took a 50% partial around 1R and then was stopped out at break even on a big drop.


CCL Trade Breakdown:

·       Entry on a nice clean break of the 15 minute opening range with good volume.  Stop below the 20EMA.

·       I felt confident on this one so I only took off 25% at 1R.

·       Took some additional partials into strength, and then went all out at the break below the 20EMA.


LI Trade Breakdown:

·       Entry on the break of the 15 minute opening range after seeing strong support at the 20EMA.  Stop loss below the 20EMA.

·       Got a couple of partials around 1R before being stopped out at break even.


NIO Trade Breakdown:

·       NIO broke the 15 minute opening range, then pulled back and found some support at the 20 EMA.  I entered at the second break of the opening range.

·       I took 1 small partial because I had higher hopes for this trade.

·       I was surprised by a big high volume drop, and had to get out for a loss.



SPCE Trade Breakdown:

·       This trade was fun, but it is not counted in my overall P&L since it isn’t the type of trade I usually take.

·       I saw a big symmetrical triangle forming on SPCE, and decided to watch for a break, either to the upside or downside.

·       I saw a big break to the downside and entered by buying a 20 NOV 20 23 PUT @ .59

·       I was patient with the drop, watched as it pulled back to the 20EMA, couldn’t break it, and then took another leg down.

·       I exited as it started to consolidate again.  It was reaching the end of the trading session and I wasn’t sure if there would be a big push into the close or not.  I sold at .79

·       I made $20 on this trade using only $59 of trading capital.  Using options is really an efficient way of using capital in a cash account, but it can go the other way as well..

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Today was a solid day of trading.  My first trade was a dud and quickly put me into the red, but my 2nd trade made up my losses and plenty more.  After that I was able to call it a day with some nice profits.

Today’s P&L: $49.15

Net P&L: $184.80


CCL Trade Breakdown:

·       I saw this one break the high of the 15 minute opening range with some good volume and though it was going to take off.  I chased the entry a bit, and then it turned right around on me and I stopped out at the break of the 20EMA.


NIO Trade Breakdown:

·       I saw NIO attempt to break the 15 minute opening range, and then it pulled back and found nice support at the 20EMA.  I put in a limit order for a penny over the 15 minute opening range and planned for a stop at the break below the 20EMA.

·       I was able to really be patient taking partials on this one.  I took off 1/3rd at about 1.5R and then started taking small partials into strength.

·       I held through a pullback that found support at the 20EMA.  This would have been a great place to add, but I didn’t.

·       Took some more small partials into the next leg up, and then finally took the rest off at the break below the 20EMA.

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I ended the day green today, but it was out of pure luck.  Today was the worst trading I have done in a long time.  For some reason I threw all my rules out the window today, and I am lucky I didn’t wipe out a lot of my gains.

Rules I broke today:

·       I took a terrible entry with 0 confirmation

·       I didn’t respect my stop loss

·       I took a very bad revenge trade that was not in my playbook

Today’s P&L: $28.00

Net P&L: $212.80


PLUG Trade Breakdown:

·       First mistake – my entry.  I had major bias on this one.  I had it made up in my mind that it was going to hit the 20EMA, bounce and go higher.  So, what did I do?  I entered at the 20EMA with 0 confirmation of a move back up.  As soon as I entered it broke below the 20EMA and put me in a bad position

·       I should have just exited the trade immediately, but I told myself I would hold as long as it didn’t break below VWAP.  It went down to VWAP but looked like it was finding support.  Then, a huge amount of volume came in and it not only broke VWAP, but went down another 15 cents before I could react.

·       At this point some buying volume came in and pushed it back up.  Again, I should have just exited here.  Instead, I told myself “well there seemed to be a lot of buying pressure coming in right there, maybe this is a level of support”.  I told myself I would hold as long as it didn’t break below the big wick.

·       It consolidated for a bit, and then started to make a move down.  I finally got all out as I realized that this thing had at least one more good leg down.


FUV Trade Breakdown:

·       This one came up on the turbo breakup scanner and was just going nuts.

·       It looked like it wanted to break $18, and I planned to take a trade from $18 for the run up to $19

·       I had a hard time getting filled (this is where ToS really underperforms).  I started to try to get filled around $18.07 but didn’t get in until $18.27.

·       Got all out at $18.95

·       This trade worked out, and it made up for my losses on the previous trade, but it just as easily could have gone very bad and doubled down on an already bad day.  I consider myself extremely lucky.


Lessons learned:

  • Just because your day ended green does not mean you traded well.  I would give me trading today an F and it could have easily been a very red day.


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I didn't trade at all last week.  I had the week off from work and didn't want to be tied to my computer.  Only one trade on GME today.  I was happy to get some gains before the market took a turn for the worse.

Today's P&L: $29.40

Net P&L: $242.20


GME Trade Breakdown:

  • I had some pretty major bias coming into this one from reading about GME over the weekend and the incredible amount of short volume it has.  I was waiting for this one to really pop today.
  • Entered after seeing a big drop that was bought up really quickly.  Stop loss was below the low of the day.
  • I took some really small partials after the break of $19.  I didn't want to take off too much because I was really hoping this one was going to go much higher.
  • I held through a big drop, and then took off a little more after it broke $19 again.
  • At this point SPY was selling off hard, and I was starting to doubt that I would see the movement out of GME that I was hoping for.  I got all out after it failed to make a new high AND broke below the 20 EMA.


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I was not able to trade yesterday because I had meetings all morning.  Today was a solid one and done day with a nice trade on NIO where I was able to catch a good trend that lasted about 45 minutes.  Today was also my first $100 day!

Today's P&L: $112.55

Net P&L: $354.75


NIO Trade Breakdown:

  • I took this one with Andrew as it was called out in the room.  NIO gapped down quite a bit and then sold off at the open.  I knew it was only a matter of time before value buyers were going to step in.  Once it was called out I noticed that it had reclaimed the 20EMA and VWAP, and was looking really strong.  I took an entry close to VWAP, and the tight stop allowed me to load up more shares than I typically would be able to.  Stop loss was below the 20 EMA
  • I took off half around 1R after a quick pop.
  • I was able to be very patient with the rest and slowly scaled out until I finally saw some weakness as it was approaching $45.
  • Could I have stayed in longer?  Yeah probably.  As I am writing this NIO has recovered from a pullback and has now broken $45 and is still rising.  I probably could have added on and continued to take more from NIO.  However, this was by far my best day and I was happy to stop where I did and call it a day.


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I had a decent day today.  It could have been a lot better, but I made some calls to exit trades a bit early that in hindsight costed me some gains.  With that being said, it was another green day and I cannot complain about that!

Today's P&L: $30.95

Net P&L: $385.70


PLTR Trade #1 Breakdown:

  • PLTR sold off a bit at the open, but then started coming back up with increasing volume.  PLTR had a great daily, and I really felt like this one could break out.
  • My first entry was at 24.05 after it reclaimed VWAP and started to move higher.  Stop loss was below VWAP.
  • I took half off at 1R, and then another 25% just before the 15 minute opening range high.
  • I let the other 25% run, but was eventually stopped out at break even.

PLTR Trade #2 Breakdown:

  • It looked like PLTR was ready for another run up and I decided to get back in at 24.33 with a stop loss below VWAP.
  • It immediately dropped and tested VWAP again.
  • I was worried that it was starting to settle into a range, so I decided to get out at break even.  Aaaaand it took off immediately after I got out.

PLTR Trade #3 Breakdown:

  • I decided to jump in one more time after a nice clean break of the 15 minute opening range high.  Entry at 24.85 with a relatively tight stop below the 15 minute opening range high.  I took a smaller position on this one because I didn't want to wipe my earlier gains.
  • There was a quick sell off that broke through my stop, but I decided to hold because it was quickly bought back up.
  • I took a small partial before the break of 25, and another small partial right as it broke 25
  • At this point I was watching to see if it would cleanly break 25 and run or not.  it looked like it was really struggling, so I decided to get all out at 24.96.   Aaaaaand it took off immediately after I got out and ran up about 40 cents.

Thoughts today:

  • I now have 10 trading days logged and so far have not had a single red day.  That is not something I expected.  There have been a couple of trades where I abandoned my rules and made some poor decisions, but overall I am really happy with how consistent I have been.  My overall win percentage is 72% and my average win is much larger than my average loss($28 compared to $17).  Everything so far is looking good, and for the next 20 trading days I am just going to look to keep the consistency.  If I can do this for another 20 trading days I think I will feel comfortable taking on some more risk.


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First red day today, and it was a big one.  I got crushed.  I would say I should have just stopped trading for the day after the first 2-3 losses.  I learned a hard lesson today and was humbled.  Hopefully I will be able to bounce back quickly next week.

Today's P&L: ($99.00)

Net P&L: $286.70


CCL Trade Breakdown:

  • My first entry was at $23.46 as CCL reclaimed the VWAP and 20EMA.  I rushed this one a bit.  I should have waited for the candle to close above those averages.
  • As soon as I got in it dropped below the averages and I was stopped out.
  • I decided to enter again as it again reclaimed the averages and showed some continuing strength and volume.
  • Again, as soon as I got in it dropped and I was stopped out.
  • I took ANOTHER entry as it reclaimed the averages.  At this point I was simply trying to force something and I definitely should not have taken this trade.
  • Once again I got chopped up


GME Trade Breakdown:

  • After my poor CCL trades I decided to get back to strategy and look for some 15 minute ORBs.
  • Entry on GME after break of 15 minute opening range.  Stop loss below VWAP.
  • This one looked decent.  I saw some nice bottom wicks and it looked like it really wanted to press higher.  Then one big red candle changed all of that, and I was stopped out.


OXY Trade Breakdown:

  • Entry on OXY as it broke the 15 minute opening range.  Stop loss below VWAP (although I didn't honor it).
  • This one had a nice little pop and then a pullback.  Due to all of my previous losses on the day I got a little shaky on this one and exited as it broke down below the 20EMA.  If I had stayed in and honored my original stop loss below VWAP this would have turned out to be a nice winner.  Tough one to swallow after an already bad day.

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I only had one goal today - book a green day and regain some confidence after the big red day I had on Friday.  I was able to accomplish that goal!  Did I trade perfectly today?  Absolutely not.  I was overly protective of profits and fully exited positions much sooner than I had reason to, but I got rid of the negative emotions I had from my day on Friday and that is a big win in my book.

Today's P&L: $57.20

Net P&L: $343.90


NIO Trade Breakdown:

  • I took NIO at the break of the 15 minute opening range after seeing it develop a nice clean uptrend.
  • I took 25% off at 44.90 just to take some off the table before the 45 mark.
  • It looked to be struggling a bit at 45 and then started to show signs of strong rejection.  Rather than hold through a pullback I just decided to take everything off the table and walk with my profit.  Again - I was only looking for confidence building today.


PLTR Trade Breakdown:

  • PLTR also formed a nice clean uptrend in the morning, and I took an entry after a couple of breaks of the 15 minute opening range, and after seeing it find support at the 20EMA.
  • I decided to use a half position and a tight stop under the 20EMA.  I was looking for a small addition to my win on NIO earlier, and didn't want to risk all of my gains from the previous trade.
  • I took off half at 1R, and then took the rest off after seeing warning signs of a pullback.

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